Schultz builds a new team at Starbucks

SEATTLE Following his return to the top posts at Starbucks earlier this week, Howard Schultz on Friday detailed other management changes, including the departure of at least two executives.

Schultz said in a release that the appointments would make up the team “responsible for executing the company’s transformation agenda.”

Terry Davenport, formerly vice president of global brand and strategies, has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing, responsible for the company’s overall marketing plan, calendar, product development, consumer insights and innovation.

Harry Roberts, who worked for Starbucks from 1993 to 1996 as a vice president of merchandising, is returning as senior vice president and chief creative officer, a newly created role. Roberts will be responsible for merchandising and the “look and feel” of Starbucks’ stores.

Michelle Gass, previously senior vice president of global products and brands, has been named senior vice president of global strategy. She will help implement all aspects of the new initiatives to refocus on the customer experience, Starbucks said.

Chet Kuchinad, formerly senior vice president of the company’s compensation and benefits plan, has been promoted to executive vice president of partner resources, and will lead development and execution of the company’s human resources strategy.

Chris Bruzzo, previously vice president of digital strategy, has been named to the newly created position of vice president and chief technology officer. He will also serve as acting chief information officer, replacing Brian Crynes, who has left the company.

Starbucks also plans to hire an executive to lead the global real estate design and architecture division, as well as public affairs, both of which are new positions.

Also leaving the company is Sandra Taylor, senior vice president for corporate social responsibility, officials said.

Continuing in their roles are chief operating officer Martin Coles, chief financial officer Pete Bocian and executive vice president of law and corporate affairs Paula Boggs, Starbucks said.

On Monday, the company’s chairman Howard Schultz took over the role of president and chief executive, replacing Jim Donald.

Pledging to reinvigorate the company’s focus on the customer experience and streamline its bureaucratic structure, Schultz announced a series of strategic initiatives to drive shareholder value, including slowing the pace of domestic store openings and closing poor-performing units, accelerating international expansion, and rolling out new product innovations and store design upgrades.