Starbucks Coffee Company on Thursday promoted Belinda Wong from president to chief executive of its China division, pledging to more than double its store count in the region by 2021.
Wong, who joined Starbucks in 2000, has helped grow the coffeehouse chain’s presence in China from 400 stores in 2011 to more than 2,300 currently, the company said. The Seattle-based chain has set the goal of reaching 5,000 units in China over the next five years.
In her new role, Wong will continue to report to John Culver, group president, Starbucks Global Retail. One of her key areas of responsibility will be growing digital and e-commerce opportunities in the region, as well as overseeing the opening of the first Starbucks Roastery unit in Shanghai next year.
“Over the past five years, Belinda’s vision, experience and push for innovation have elevated Starbucks in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people and created a strong foundation for Starbucks’ growth in China,” said Culver in a statement. “Belinda embodies our mission and values as a company, and her promotion will help further propel Starbucks’ efforts in building the partner and customer experience for the China market over the long term.”
In addition, Starbucks has promoted Leo Tsoi to the role of chief operating officer of Starbucks China. Tsoi, who joined the company in 2012, served most recently as Starbucks China’s vice president of store development and design.
At the end of the June-ended third quarter, Starbucks’ same-store sales increased 3 percent in the China/Asia Pacific region. Globally, same-store sales were up 4 percent.
The chain included 24,395 stores in 74 countries worldwide.