Foodservice Equipment Reports

New Regional Leadership Structure At Starbucks

Training its eye on accelerating worldwide growth, especially in China, Starbucks Corp. is creating a third regional division.

The Seattle company is currently structured as Starbucks U.S. and Starbucks Coffee International, which encompasses 54 markets outside the U.S. It will move to a three-region system. John Culver, president-SCI, takes the reins of the China and Asia Pacific group. Cliff Burrows, president- U.S. division, expands his role by assuming responsibility for Canada, Mexico and Latin America. The third group, including Europe, will be led by Michelle Gass, president-Seattle's Best Coffee.

Starbucks is preparing to make China its largest market. Last year, the company set up a coffee farm and processing facilities in China's southern Yunnan province and announced plans to open 1,000 stores in the country by 2015. As of March, it operated 450 stores in mainland China.

In other news, the chain opened its fifth store in Brussels late last month; since inking a strategic license partnership in ’08 with Autogrill Belgium, three units have opened at Brussels Airport and one store in Antwerp. A sixth unit will open in Ghent by the end of the year.