Indian-origin Laxman Narasimhan has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of coffee giant Starbucks. Laxman Narasimhan was the CEO of Reckitt, which also makes Durex condoms, Enfamil baby formula and Mucinex cold syrup. The 55-year-old, who previously worked at PepsiCo as its global chief commercial officer, has replaced Howard Schultz.
Starbucks said that Laxman Narasimhan will join the company on October 1 but will take the helm in April 2023. Until then, interim CEO Howard Schultz will continue to lead the company and Laxman Narasimhan will work closely with Howard Schultz through April 1.
In April-June, Starbucks reported a whooping demand due to strong sales in the United States as Covid restrictions in China have slowed the business.
“He is a strategic and transformational leader with deep experience in building powerful consumer brands,” Schultz said in a letter to employees welcoming Narasimhan.
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WHO IS LAXMAN NARASIMHAN?
Laxman Narasimhan is a graduate from the University of Pune and completed his master’s degree in German and international studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylavania. He also has a master’s in business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
He joined Reckitt in September 2019 and guided the company through the Covid-19 pandemic, which boosted sales of its health and hygiene products. He also served as global chief commercial officer at PepsiCo and also looked after the operations in Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Narasimhan has also served as a senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company where he focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the U.S, Asia and India.
On Thursday, Reckitt, announced that Laxman Narasimhan would step down as its CEO, following which FTSE-listed Reckitt’s shares fell 4 per cent.
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(With agency inputs)