Laxman Narasimhan, a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the consumer products industry, will succeed Howard Schultz as CEO of Starbucks.
Over the course of over 30 years, Narasimhan has led and advised several international consumer-facing companies.
When he joined the consumer goods company Reckitt, it dealt with a cyber attack, a botched product launch, production problems, and a lackluster performance from its core brands. The company’s shareholders were very appreciative of Narasimhan’s three years as CEO, during which the company’s performance returned to levels that were considered to be sustainable.
Mellody Hobson, who chairs the board at Starbucks, also lauded Narasimhan as an “inspiring leader” who will contribute to the company’s expansion. Schultz also said that Narasimhan’s ideas would be fundamental to Starbucks as it builds on its past in this new era of greater well-being.
In the past, Narasimhan has also held executive positions at PepsiCo and McKinsey, in addition to his current role as a trustee at the Brookings Institute in Washington, District of Columbia.
Narasimhan spent her younger years in India, but he came to the United States to earn a master’s degree and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania (MBA). He is also proficient in three Indian languages English, Spanish, and German. The Indian languages of Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam.
He will now be fully immersed in Starbucks over the next few months as he works and learns the plan that former CEO Schultz put in place during his brief third tenure at Starbucks. During this transitional period, Narasimhan will travel to various stores and factories to monitor the expansion and performance.
In a statement, Narasimhan remarked on how the company’s recent “reinvention” and investments in its partner and customer experiences had positioned it to meet the shifting demands of the present and prepare it for an even brighter future.