Starbucks North America Head Leaves Company As Chain Begins Leadership Change

A pedestrian carries a Starbucks-branded cup in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 28, 2022. Starbucks Corp.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | beautiful pictures

Starbucks’ North America President Rossann Williams will leave the company and will be replaced by the head of the coffee chain’s Asia Pacific division.

Friday’s announcement marks the latest change for the company under interim CEO Howard Schultz, who returned to the top job in April following the departure of former CEO Kevin Johnson . Schultz is expected to reprise the role sometime later this year, after the board selects a permanent successor. In his time so far, Schultz has halted the company’s stock buyback program, pledging $1 billion to raise wages and improving cafes and calling for disapproval of union efforts. .

“As we embark on the next chapter, we have made a difficult but necessary change to our North American business; a shift that creates new leadership for a new era. at Starbucks,” John Culver, the company’s chief executive officer, wrote in a memo to employees seen by CNBC. “This decision was not taken lightly and came before the discussion of Rossann’s next opportunity in the company, but she declined.”

Williams has been with Starbucks since 2004, when she joined the coffee chain after working at Toys ‘R Us and Blockbuster. Over the last year, she has been one of the faces of the company’s efforts to limit the consolidation efforts of its employees. More than 150 Starbucks cafes in the US have voted to merge, as of Friday.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Williams’ departure.

Sara Trilling, who currently serves as president of Starbucks’ Asia Pacific business, will succeed Williams in the role, effective Tuesday. Trilling has been with the company for two decades, starting in his creative studio, working with retail store design and growing. Williams will help with her transition through June, and Cliff Burrows, president of the company’s Americas division, will also assist in an advisory role.

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