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Starbucks restructures leadership as Schultz focuses on big picture [The Seattle Times :: ]
[January 29, 2014]

Starbucks restructures leadership as Schultz focuses on big picture [The Seattle Times :: ]

(Seattle Times (WA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 29--Starbucks said Wednesday it's reshuffling its senior leadership to allow chief executive Howard Schultz to chart a course through the retail industry's increasingly challenging waters.

Chief financial officer Troy Alstead will step up to the newly created role of chief operating officer, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the sprawling coffee company. That will allow Schultz to concentrate on the big picture -- promoting innovation and figuring out the next generation of retail and payment initiatives, the company said.

"These organizational moves map our internal talent to the rapidly evolving retail environment and significant strategic and market opportunities ahead of us," Schultz said in a statement.

Starbucks said Schultz will continue to work with senior leaders to bring financial and operational discipline to the company.

The leadership moves come as Starbucks endeavors to keep growing even as retailers suffer from the migration of consumers from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping. Starbucks is betting heavily that investments in digital payment technology, new segments such as tea and sodas, and strengthening its brand in the grocery aisle will allow it to continue expanding.

Last week the Seattle-based coffee giant posted record earnings and revenues, but also said that holiday traffic in its stores had been somewhat impacted by consumers staying home and shopping online.

A 22-year Starbucks veteran, Alstead will be replaced as CFO by Scott Maw, currently senior vice president of corporate finance. Maw, who joined Starbucks in 2011, will report to Alstead.

The company also announced that Craig Russell, Starbucks' advocate for coffee, will be promoted to executive vice president for global coffee. He will continue reporting to Schultz, the company said.

angel Gonzalez; 206-464-2250 or On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle ___ (c)2014 The Seattle Times Visit The Seattle Times at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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