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Starbucks taps Holmes to head HR

SEATTLE Starbucks Coffee Co. said Thursday it named former Microsoft executive Kalen Holmes executive vice president of the global coffeehouse chain’s “partner resources,” or human resources.

Holmes previously served as HR general manager for the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft in Seattle, where she worked for six years. While at Microsoft, Holmes held leadership positions in the server and tools division, and headed HR for the software company’s development centers in India and Israel.

Prior to that Holmes’ held posts in the high-tech, energy and pharmaceutical industries as well as global consumer sales. Her human resources experience includes managing multiple geographies and diverse business units at such companies as Bristol-Myers Squibb and PepsiCo.

Reportedly scheduled to start Nov. 16 in her new role, Holmes will be responsible for Starbucks’ global partner resource strategy, including all generalist and specialist functions. She will report to Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive.

Holmes succeeds Olden Lee, the Starbucks’ board member who has served as interim executive vice president of partner resources since April. He will stay on to assist Holmes during her transition into the role.

Lee replaced Starbucks’ former head of human resources, Chet Kuchinad, who resigned because of a family illness.

“We are excited to have Kalen join the Starbucks leadership team as the global leader of our partner resource organization,” Schultz said. “She brings a great passion for serving partners [employees], with the experience and energy we need to elevate the partner experience.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] .

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