Starbucks Names New EVP, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Amid Exits and Leadership Shuffle

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Starbucks logo in front of storefront

Starbucks is experiencing a major leadership reshuffle as its COO John Culver departs and the company looks to restructure talent as part of its “Reinvention Plan.” As part of these changes, the company is expanding the role of Frank Britt, now EVP, chief strategy and transformation officer.

As of August 22, the following staff will report to Britt as part of the new role:

  • AJ Jones II, EVP, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer
  • Deb Hall Lefevre, EVP, Chief Technology Officer
  • George Dowdie, EVP, Global Supply Chain
  • Nick Bowles, VP, Strategy and Corporate Development
  • Sandy Stark, SVP, Data Analytics & Insights, and Business Operations
  • Sara Kelly, EVP, Chief Partner Officer

“Our reinvention requires us to rethink our leadership structure to create every opportunity for our new CEO and, most importantly, to accelerate delivery of modernized and elevated experiences for our green apron partners and our customers,” wrote Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a letter to partners.

Effective October 3, Culver’s departure marks the end of his 20-year tenure with the company. The coffee chain is eliminating the position of COO after the new CEO is named. Culver stated this was the right decision as the company charts a future path. He will be transitioning to an executive advisory role supporting the CEO to ensure a smooth transition, fully departing the company at the end of the year. 

“As he sets to depart the company, I remain indebted to him for his great success in directly shaping and enhancing the brand across every business and market where we operate around the world,” said Schultz. “John has long been a champion of our partners and in building our next generation of great talent here at Starbucks. As a true servant leader, he has offered his continued advisory support to me and the leadership team through this transition, for which I am grateful.”

George Dowdie, EVP of global supply chain, is also exiting the company. Culver stated Dowdie played a significant role in leading the global supply chain organization during a period of “extraordinary macro- and global supply chain disruptions.” He will stay on until Starbucks identifies a replacement. 

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In March, Starbucks announced former CEO Kevin Johnson would be retiring, with Schultz taking over the role on an interim basis. The company plans to name a permanent successor this fall who will work alongside Schultz before permanently taking on the job in January.

As part of the current moves, the following staff will be reporting to the interim CEO beginning on October 3. 

  • Andy Adams, SVP, Global Growth & Concepts
  • Belinda Wong, Chairwoman, Starbucks China
  • Brady Brewer, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Dennis Brockman, SVP, Inclusion & Diversity
  • Frank Britt, EVP, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer
  • Michael Conway, Group President, International and Channel Development
  • Michelle Burns, EVP, Global Coffee, Tea & Cocoa
  • Rachel Ruggeri, EVP, Chief Financial Officer
  • Sara Trilling, EVP, president, North America Retail
  • Zabrina Jenkins, Acting EVP and General Counsel

“Our next CEO role will work side by side with the leaders of the day-to-day running of the business,” said Schultz. 

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication RIS. 

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