Laxman Narasimhan is an Indian-American business executive who currently serves as the CEO of Starbucks. Prior to joining Starbucks, he held significant leadership roles at PepsiCo, where he served as the Chief Commercial Officer, and at Reckitt, where he was the CEO. In October 2022, Narasimhan assumed the role of interim CEO at Starbucks and later officially succeeded Howard Schultz as the CEO in April 2023. As the CEO of Starbucks, Narasimhan plays a crucial role in guiding the strategic direction of the company and overseeing its global operations.
Laxman Narasimhan is an accomplished business executive with nearly three decades of experience in leading and advising global consumer goods companies. He is widely recognized for his operational acumen and ability to drive transformative growth in purpose-led brands.
Before joining Starbucks as CEO, Narasimhan served as the CEO of Reckitt, a multinational consumer health, hygiene, and nutrition company. During his tenure, he successfully led the company through a significant transformation, positioning it for sustainable growth. He spearheaded efforts to anchor Reckitt's consumer brands in high-demand spaces, reimagined notable labels, and expanded the company's e-commerce business. Under his leadership, Reckitt weathered the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, surpassing expectations and supporting its frontline workers.
Narasimhan's leadership at Reckitt was marked by a strong commitment to servant-leadership principles. He championed initiatives to promote better health and hygiene behaviors globally, and he prioritized sustainability in the company's operations, aligning with its purpose to create a cleaner, healthier world.
Prior to his role at Reckitt, Narasimhan held various executive positions at PepsiCo. He served as the Global Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for the company's long-term growth strategy and commercial capabilities. He also led PepsiCo's operations in Latin America, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa, overseeing food and beverage businesses across more than 100 countries.
Before joining PepsiCo, Narasimhan spent 19 years at McKinsey & Company, where he advised companies in the retail, consumer goods, and healthcare industries across different regions. His expertise encompassed performance improvement strategies, growth-focused transactions, and aligning corporate missions with purpose-driven values.
Laxman Narasimhan is known for his multilingual abilities and global experience, having worked across various sectors and regions, including the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Pune, India, a Master of Arts in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
As a testament to his leadership and expertise, Narasimhan serves on several prominent boards and councils, including the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, the UK Prime Minister's Build Back Better Council, and Verizon's Board of Directors.
Narasimhan's beverage of choice at Starbucks is a doppio espresso macchiato with hot skim milk on the side. With his wealth of experience, international perspective, and dedication to purpose-driven growth, Laxman Narasimhan continues to guide Starbucks as a leading force in the global coffee industry.
Laxman Narasimhan is an experienced and visionary business leader with a successful track record in the consumer goods industry. As the CEO of Starbucks, his vision is likely to be centered around driving growth, innovation, and sustainable development while staying true to Starbucks' core values and purpose.
Customer-Centricity: As a consumer goods industry veteran, Narasimhan is likely to place a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer experiences. His vision might involve continually enhancing Starbucks' offerings and services to meet the evolving needs and preferences of customers globally.
Digital Innovation: With his background in driving digital capabilities at PepsiCo and Reckitt, Narasimhan might focus on leveraging technology and data to elevate Starbucks' digital presence. This could involve enhancing mobile ordering, loyalty programs, and personalized marketing to create a seamless and engaging customer journey.
Global Growth: With his extensive experience in leading international operations, Narasimhan might envision expanding Starbucks' global footprint. His vision may include strategic market penetration in existing regions and exploring opportunities in new markets to reach more customers worldwide.
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