Starbucks Just Announced A Major Change To Its Leadership

After months of searching, Starbucks has found a new permanent CEO: Laxman Narasimhan.

Howard Schultz had been serving as Interim CEO since his return to the company in April of this year, per QSR Magazine. Schultz will remain as Interim CEO and advise Narasimhan while he learns the company's practices and culture starting October 1, officially departing next April when Narasimhan fully takes the wheel. This news comes as the coffee giant begins to embark on what Schultz has referred to as its "Reinvention Plan," which has involved the departure of several major company executives. The plan also involves Starbucks reconsidering the way stores are designed from the ground up.

Schultz has faced a difficult time in his brief experience as Interim CEO. More and more Starbucks partners (the name given to store workers by the company) have sought to unionize, which the chain has been publicly against. Schultz has come across as outspoken in his opposition to the employee-led effort, going as far as to assert companies are "being assaulted" by unions. Starbucks has also begun closing locations due to supposedly unsafe working conditions, which some have claimed are a form of union busting. The chain was also accused of punishing pro-union workers by excluding unionized locations from new benefits offered to partners.

New CEO named amid company reinvention

QSR Magazine reports that Laxman Narasimhan comes to Starbucks from the Reckitt Benckiser Group where he served as the chief executive. According to the New York Times, Narasimhan came to Reckitt Benckiser after holding several senior positions with Pepsi Co. and was tasked with steering the retail manufacturer away from collapse. For this work, he was praised as a "turnaround artist" by investors and analysts. It seems only fitting that the Warton School alum would be brought in by the Starbucks board to continue guiding the company through its "Reinvention Plan."

"I am humbled to be joining this iconic company at such a pivotal time, as the Reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today and set us up for an even stronger future," said Narasimhan in a statement released by Starbucks.

Several weeks ago, Starbucks also announced a new roster of executive leaders that will be integrated alongside Narasimhan as the company moves forward into this next phase.