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Starbucks announces new leadership moves with eye on growth

By Doug G. Ware
Starbucks named a new CEO, Kevin Johnson, who will take over the position in April, the company said Thursday. The coffee-maker said the move is intended to spur new global growth of the Starbucks product lines. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Starbucks named a new CEO, Kevin Johnson, who will take over the position in April, the company said Thursday. The coffee-maker said the move is intended to spur new global growth of the Starbucks product lines. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

SEATTLE, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The Starbucks Corporation named a new president and CEO on Thursday to lead the premium coffee-maker to new growth, the company said.

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson will expand his duties next year to include responsibilities as president and chief executive officer. His new role will take effect on April 3.

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The company said in a news release that the move is intended to spur future growth with new leadership.

"Over the past two decades, I have grown to know Starbucks first as a customer, then as a director on the board, and for the past two years as a member of the management team," Johnson said. "Through that journey, I fell in love with Starbucks. ... We will reaffirm our leadership in all things coffee, enhance the partner experience and exceed the expectations of our customers and shareholders."

Johnson has been on Starbucks' board since 2009 and its management team since last year.

"Starbucks consistently outperforms the retail industry because our stores, our offerings and the experiences our partners create make us a destination. The best evidence of the success of the core strategy driving our business is that we continue to deliver quarter after quarter of record, industry leading revenue, comp sales and profit growth," current CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. "As I focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson ... has agreed to assume the [new] duties.

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"This move ideally positions Starbucks to continue profitably growing our core business around the world into the future."

Schultz will now become Starbucks' executive chairman and will focus on new innovation, design and development of Starbucks brands around the world.

Shares of Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) rose 54 cents to $58.51 on the Nasdaq Thursday.

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