Narasimhan will become incoming CEO at Starbucks on October 1. He will officially begin his role in April and will then join the company’s board of directors, as well.
The Reckitt Benckiser Group, where Narasimhan most recently served as CEO, announced earlier on Thursday that he would be stepping down.
Narasimhan steps into the role at a pivotal moment for Starbucks.
In the six months before Narasimhan officially takes over, he will spend time with Schultz, other company leaders, employees and customers and become acquainted with the reinvention plan recently laid out by Schultz, who has said the company needs an overhaul.
Narasimhan said in a statement Thursday that he is “humbled” to join Starbucks “as the reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today.”
On Thursday, Schultz said Narasimhan is the right person for the job.
“He is a strategic and transformational leader with deep experience in building powerful consumer brands,” Schultz said. “He is the leader we were looking for.”
Narasimhan’s previous company, Reckitt Benckiser, is the UK-based maker of several hygiene and health brands, including Durex condoms, Lysol and Mucinex. He was named CEO of the multi-billion dollar company in 2019.
The British company said in a statement earlier Thursday that “Laxman has decided for personal and family reasons to relocate back to the United States and has been approached for an opportunity that enables him to live there.”
Mellody Hobson, independent chair of the Starbucks board, called Narasimhan “an inspiring leader,” adding that “his deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations at global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice.”
News of the Narasimhan’s appointment comes ahead of Starbucks’ annual investor day on September 13.
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