Management Shuffle at Starbucks

Zacks

Coffee giant, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX), recently changed its management positions to derive maximum benefits out of the retail, consumer, mobile and digital shifts that are currently underway by leveraging its resources and operations.

Starbucks chief financial officer and group president of Global Business Services, Troy Alstead will be promoted to the position of chief operating officer (COO). Scott Maw will be promoted to the position of Global Technology and Global Supply Chain Organizations president and new chief financial officer. Craig Russell will be the executive vice president of Global Coffee

Together with the new leadership team, Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO, will focus on innovation in coffee, tea and next generation retailing and payment initiatives to position Starbucks for its future global growth.

Alstead will be responsible for regular operations of the enterprise, which include allotting investments across business units. Alstead will head Group presidents including Cliff Burrows (U.S., Americas and Teavana), John Culver (China and Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands), EMEA president Kris Engskov and Global Technology and Global Supply Chain Organizations president and new chief financial officer Scott Maw.

Craig Russell will be the executive vice president of Global Coffee and overlook Starbucks Farmer Support Centers and supply chain operations, which involve all aspects of the coffee business, including quality, innovation, purchase, education and engagement.

During first-quarter fiscal 2014, Starbucks saw a major shift in consumer shopping behavior from store purchases to online purchase. Also, Schultz said that consumers preferred to gift shopping cards instead of a particular item this holiday season.

Dollars loaded on the loyalty cards increased an impressive 24% to $1.4 billion in the quarter, suggesting that millions of customers will be visiting Starbucks stores in the future quarters thereby boosting the top line. Also, the company processed more than 40 million new Starbucks card activations, valued at over $610 million in the U.S. and Canada alone in the first quarter.

Schultz believes that Starbucks’ strong digital, card, loyalty and mobile capabilities make it one of the very few retailers to benefit from this shift in consumer shopping behavior. With the recent managerial changes, Schultz intends to focus on growth strategies and integration of retail and e-commerce, digital, card and mobile assets across the world.

Starbucks currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies in the restaurant sector that warrant investor attention includes Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (FRGI), Brinker International, Inc. (EAT), and Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD). Fiesta Restaurant Group carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), whereas Brinker International and Buffalo Wild carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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