Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Starbucks names new U.S. president

In another high-level executive change at Starbucks Corp., Cliff Burrows was named to succeed Launi Skinner as president of Starbucks’ U.S. operation, effective March 12.

Also on Monday, the company appointed executives to serve as senior vice presidents of four domestic geographic regions, reporting to chief operating officer Martin Coles until Burrows assumes his new duties. Burrows is currently president of Starbucks Coffee’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division. His successor in that role was not named. Starbucks said the senior executives of the EMEA region will report directly to Starbucks Coffee International president Jim Alling on an interim basis.

Skinner resigned after only six months in the post to spend more time with her family, the company said in a statement.

“We are very sorry to see Launi go, but we know that her legacy at Starbucks is strong and that we are a better company, thanks to her passion, commitment and leadership,” Coles said in a statement. “We are also very pleased that we were able to name a new leader for our U.S. business from within our company. Cliff has led our business and brand to tremendous success in the EMEA region most recently, and in the U.K. prior to this. We now look to him to apply that same drive and business acumen to leading our U.S. business.”

Burrows joined Starbucks in April 2001 as a vice president and managing director after working for the home furnishings retailer Habitat Designs Ltd.

The appointment of Burrows is part of Starbucks’ previously announced plan to restructure the company during the next year. The effort is being undertaken to eliminate bureaucracy and intensify the company’s focus on patrons’ experiences. The company’s turnaround program also calls for shifting the bulk of the chain’s development outside of the United States, where about 100 units are slated to close.

The other executive changes announced on Monday include the promotion of Chris Carr, who was named senior vice president of the Northwest/Mountain division. Previously, he served as regional vice president of the South Central United States.

Cos LaPorta, formerly senior vice president of the Western Division, has been named senior vice president of Western/Pacific.

Jim McDermet, formerly senior vice president of U.S. Store Services, has been named senior vice president of Northeast/Atlantic.

Paul Twohig, formerly senior vice president of the Eastern Division, now holds the title of senior vice president of Southeast/Plains.

Starbucks operates, franchises or licenses about 16,000 coffee outlets worldwide, including more than 7,000 in the United States.

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