Head of Starbucks’ Roastery, Teavana and Princi takes leave

Cliff Burrows oversees coffee giant's specialty divisions

Cliff Burrows, who oversees the Starbucks Corp.’s Siren Retail division that includes the Roastery, Reserve, Teavana and Princi brands, will be taking an extended unpaid leave starting April 1, the company said in Monday.

“After 18 years with Starbucks,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in an email, “Cliff has decided to enjoy a well-earned ‘Coffee Break.’”

Cliff-Burrows-New-200.pngBurrows (left), who joined Starbucks in 2001, was promoted to group president in 2016 during a shift in leadership strategy for the brand.

The Starbucks spokesperson said that all benefits-eligible employees, after 10 years with the company can take an unpaid leave of up to 12 months to pursue personal interests outside of work.

“During this sabbatical, Cliff has shared that he plans to spend the time traveling in Europe with his family,” the spokesperson said.

Since taking over at Siren Retail, Starbucks in July 2017 announced the closure of all 379 of its Tevana retail stores, although the tea brand is still being sold in Starbucks locations.

More recently, Starbucks retreated from its initial aggressive growth plan for the Starbucks Reserve and Roastery store formats, which focused on the sale of the coffee chain’s premium coffee brands along with handcrafted cocktails and baked goods from the Italian Princi bakery brand.

In January, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the goal of 1,000 Reserve-format stores set by his predecessor, Howard Schultz, was “an aspiration.”

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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