SEATTLE — Laxman Narasimhan assumed the role of chief executive officer at Starbucks this week, earlier than expected.
Narasimhan was named incoming CEO last September, succeeding company founder and now former CEO, Howard Schultz.
According to Starbucks, Narasimhan began immersion as incoming CEO by earning his barista certification with four weeks of in-store training and visits to more than 30 stores around the world—working the drive-through window, learning the point-of-sale system, and perfecting the topping of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The Indian American led his first Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders, in Seattle, on March 23.
“These past six months have enabled me to listen, to learn, and to think about what the future of Starbucks looks like and what we need to do to get there,” Narasimhan said. “As the new CEO of Starbucks, I am confident that I know our business and our people well, but I will continue to learn and I’m excited to continue earning my green apron every day.”
The new CEO said he plans to continue working in the company’s cafes for monthly half-day shifts as he embarks on a mission to “refound” Starbucks.