Ex-Juniper CEO pours fresh cup at Starbucks

Dusts off sediment from tech to move to front burner of coffee colossus

Here’s an eye opener: premium coffee chain Starbucks has named former Juniper Networks CEO and Microsoft executive Kevin Johnson as its president and chief operating officer.

Johnson “retired” from Juniper a little over a year ago. His departure jolted other former Microsoft officials into leaving Juniper as well.

Johnson will lead the company’s global operating businesses across the Americas, EMEA and China/Asia Pacific, as well as Starbucks supply chain, information technology, and mobile and digital platforms. His new grind starts March 1, and he will report to Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz.

Johnson’s role may have been percolating for some time. He has been a Starbucks board member since 2009. Shultz, in a statement, said he looks forward to Johnson brewing up new ways of interfacing with Starbuck constituents based on his background in technology.

Kevin’s deep management experience and technology background will help further propel Starbucks efforts in partner (employee) and customer-facing innovations as we accelerate our global growth agenda.

Johnson will retain his board seat but has ceased membership on all Starbucks board committees. He replaces COO Troy Alstead who will go on sabbatical March 1.

Alstead will work with Johnson over the next month to ensure his past experience filters down into a smooth blend with Johnson’s.

Johnson seems stimulated by the opportunity:

I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Howard, Troy and Starbucks senior leadership team for many years, and I am delighted to extend that relationship even deeper to work closely with our partners in operations, supply chain, technology and mobile and digital teams to drive our aggressive growth plans. Over the past six years I have gotten to know the company well and I look forward to extending my 33 years of operating experience to help propel Starbucks to the next decade of growth and innovation.

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