Laxman Narasimhan, a seasoned leader and advisor for international consumer-facing brands, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of coffee giant Starbucks. He joins a growing group of business leaders of Indian descent who are in executive positions at major multinational companies.
Narasimhan, 55, was formerly the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, a global consumer health, hygiene, and nutrition firm with headquarters in the UK.
Narasimhan will join the Starbucks Board of Directors and take over as the organization’s next CEO, Starbucks said on Thursday.
After moving to the Seattle region from London on October 1, 2022, Narasimhan will join Starbucks as the company’s next CEO and collaborate closely with Howard Schultz until April 1, 2023, when he will take over as CEO and join the board.
Narasimhan Adds His Name to a Long List of CEOs of Indian Origin
In a statement released by Reckitt Benckiser on Thursday, the company announced that Narasimhan would leave his position as CEO on September 30, 2022.
He reportedly has “chosen to return to the United States for personal and family reasons, and he has been approached about a job opportunity that will allow him to do so.
In the statement, Narasimhan noted that although it was tough to depart, he had been given the chance to return to the United States for himself and his family.”
With this appointment, Narasimhan joins a growing number of CEOs of US-based multinational corporations who are of Indian descent, including Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, and Parag Agrawal of Twitter. Before leaving her position as CEO of PepsiCo in 2018, Indra Nooyi had been there for 12 years.
Narasimhan is the “perfect leader,” according to Schultz, to lead Starbucks into its next phase after learning of his wish to relocate.
“With his partner-centered approach, documented track record of developing capabilities, and ability to drive development in both mature and emerging markets,” the author said, “he is well positioned to define this work and lead the organization forward.”
Starbucks’ longtime CEO, Howard Schultz, claimed that as he got to know Narasimhan, it became evident that he shared the business’ enthusiasm for making investments in people and “in our dedication to our partners, customers, and communities.”
“In this new period of higher wellbeing, we will be able to build on our legacy thanks to the views he provides. I’m looking forward to working with you in the upcoming months and years, Schultz remarked.