Indian-origin CEOs are making a significant impact across industries, from big pharma to top luxury firms.
Starbucks Corporation is a worldwide American chain of coffee shops and roasting facilities with its corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The largest chain of coffee shops exists worldwide. The business operated 33,833 locations as of November 2021, 15,444 of which were in the United States. Over 8,900 of Starbucks’ U.S. locations are owned and operated by the business, with the remaining ones being licensed. It is among the most prosperous businesses worldwide, not just in the coffee shop industry. It is so successful because it was able to shift people’s perceptions about coffee shops and the prevalence of coffee consumption outside of the home. Laxman Narasimhan has been chosen by Starbucks to serve as the organization’s next CEO and a member of its board of directors. After moving to the Seattle area 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’s resignation as CEO of Reckitt Benckiser will take effect on September 30, 2022, according to an announcement made just hours earlier by the major manufacturer of fast-moving consumer products. The Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer products company had indicated that Laxman had chosen to return to the United States for personal and family reasons and had been approached about a job opportunity that would allow him to do so. In addition to Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Punit Renjen of Deloitte, and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx, Narasimhan has an engineering degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering at the University of Pune. There are difficulties for Narasimhan at Starbucks. Its native market, the US, is experiencing a wave of unionization. In the US, more than 200 businesses have decided to unionize. Many important economies, notably the US, have seen an increase in inflation, which has increased expenses and stoked concerns about a recession. According to Starbucks, Narasimhan will be completely involved in the organization during the transition period, spending time with Schultz and the management team, partners, and customers and learning about the brand, corporate culture, and reinvention strategy. This will at first involve going inside Starbucks stores, touring factories and coffee farms, engaging with partners worldwide, and working with Starbucks’ long-term business partners, it continues. During this time of change, Schultz will continue to serve as Starbucks’ interim CEO. After that, he will remain on the board of directors. The coffee behemoth claims that he will continue to assist Narasimhan and be directly involved in the company’s development. Narasimhan has close to 30 years of expertise managing and offering advice to international consumer-facing brands. He has previously held several executive positions at PepsiCo, including that of global chief commercial officer, where he was in charge of the business’s long-term strategy and digital capabilities. Before joining PepsiCo, Narasimhan worked as a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he concentrated on the firm’s consumer, retail, and technology practices in the United States, Asia, and India. He also oversaw the firm’s future-oriented retail thinking. He has a demonstrated track record of creating purpose-led businesses and is well known for his tremendous operational expertise. He has been successful in bringing talent together to realize future goals by promoting consumer-focused and digital innovations, building on the histories of the companies.
According to Schultz, the fact that Laxman wants to move made it clear that he is the best person to lead the brand, Starbucks, into its next phase. With his partner-centered approach, proven track record of developing capabilities, and ability to spur growth in both established and developing markets, he is perfectly positioned to shape this effort and guide the business forward.