Kevin Johnson becomes c.e.o. April 3, 2017 succeeding Howard Schultz, tenure 1988-05, 2008-16
SEATTLE — Shareholders of Starbucks Corp. could hardly be blamed for awaiting an impending leadership transition with some trepidation. On April 3, Kevin Johnson, president and chief operating officer, will succeed Howard Schultz as chief executive officer.
One of the fastest growing companies in the United States over the last 30 years, Starbucks experienced a rare bout of weaker performance during a relatively brief span when Mr. Schultz was not c.e.o. of the company, a 33-month period ended in January 2008.
Mr. Johnson joined Starbucks as an outside director in 2009 and became part of the company’s management in 2015 when he was named c.o.o. His career includes 16 years at Microsoft Corp. and 5 as c.e.o. of Juniper Networks.
Mr. Schultz, who will remain at Starbucks as chairman, said the company’s confidence Mr. Johnson will be successful is solidly grounded, noting that Starbucks has had two of its best years ever since Mr. Johnson became c.o.o.
“Let me just say personally Kevin deserves a tremendous amount of credit for those results,” Mr. Schultz said. “Along the way, Kevin and I have formed a trusting partnership, and Kevin’s collaborative leadership style has won the loyalty and respect of our people while driving the team to deliver record financial performance. Kevin brings to the c.e.o. role an unparalleled understanding of the market dynamics and strategic choices that have driven Starbucks to become one of the world’s most recognized and respected companies and brands.”