Starbucks named India-born Laxman Narasimhan its next CEO. The world’s biggest coffee chain has elected an executive who is acknowledged to revive ‘Lysol,’ the disinfectants maker company. As a Chief Executive Officer, Mr Narasimhan has served Reckitt, the company that manufactures Durex condoms, Mucinex cough syrup, and Enfamil baby formula. FTSE-listed Reckitt shares dropped by 4% when Narasimhan announced his exit from the post.
Starbucks encountered a rough phase as its 200 stores in the USA were organised last year, with employees demanding better advantages and compensations at a time when inflation is mounting worldwide. The company is also considering shifting its business model from cafes that promote long visits of customers to mobile pickup and delivery while paying much higher costs for ingredients and labour. Moreover, COVID restrictions have lowered the company’s business in China, which is one of its biggest overseas markets.
Laxman Narasimhan is expected to join Starbucks in October but will take command in 2023. He will spend a few months in the corporation to learn about the culture and its revival plan. This plan includes better compensation for baristas, enhanced employee and customer experience, and store anew. Till then, the existing-CEO Howard Schultz, who is heading the company for the third time after the retirement of Kevin Johnson, will remain in his position.
“He is a strategic and transformational leader with deep experience in building powerful consumer brands,” Howard said in a note to workers while welcoming Mr Narasimhan to the company.
In September 2019, Mr Narasimhan joined Reckitt as the first external candidate to lead the company since its establishment in 1999. He led Reckitt during the phases of the pandemic, which surged the company’s revenue through hygiene and health-oriented products, and navigated a baby formula situation in the United States of America.