Starbucks Queues Up Leadership Changes

A CEO of North America and new global positions are among the upcoming appointments.

Starbucks MichaelConway
Michael Conway is one of several set to take on new roles at Starbucks come April 1.

Starbucks has multiple leadership changes ahead.

On Monday, March 18, the brand announced a new geographic leadership and global support structure, effective April 1. The following mark the brand’s fresh appointments:

  • Michael Conway—a Starbucks partner since 2013 and its current group president, international and channel development—will take the newly created role of CEO, North America. Starbucks says Conway’s experience in strategic planning and operational excellence, as well as his efforts to support building the brand and culture around the world make him well positioned for this role.

    Brady Brewer

    Brady Brewer

  • Brady Brewer (pictured at left), a 20-plus year Starbucks employee, will assume the role of CEO, Starbucks Int’l, with oversight of teams across Asia Pacific, EMEA, Japan and LAC, as well as the company’s international licensed partners. Brewer has previously served in global, regional and market-specific roles, including as SVP in Starbucks Asia Pacific, as COO of Starbucks Japan, and most recently as EVP, chief marketing officer.
  • Lyne Castonguay will join Starbucks in the newly created position of EVP, chief merchant and product officer, reporting to CEO Laxman Narasimhan. Castonguay will oversee a newly created global function focused on global product strategy, developing new products and growth platforms. She will lead both the global channel development team and Siren Retail.

Starbucks also says it will soon appoint a global brand creative leader, who will report to Narasimhan.

Starbucks notes that Belinda Wong, chairwoman and co-CEO, and Molly Liu, co-CEO, will both continue to lead the Starbucks China team. Sara Trilling also remains on the executive leadership team as EVP and president of North America, focusing on enhancing the retail partner experience while growing the North America store portfolio and licensed store business. Trilling will soon report to Conway.

These changes come at a time when Starbucks is chasing 55,000 stores globally, with three out of four of the company’s new store openings planned for outside the U.S. Today, the brand has over 38,000 stores worldwide.

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