Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will expand his role in product innovation and digital retailing as part of a shuffling of senior executives aimed largely at adjusting to technology-driven shifts in its industry

Starbucks CEO to Expand Role as Part of a Shuffling of Senior Executives

Troy Alstead Becomes Chief Operating Officer and Scott Maw Named as CFO


Updated Jan. 29, 2014 6:04 p.m. ET

Starbucks Corp. SBUX -3.15% said Chief Executive Howard Schultz will expand his role in product innovation and digital retailing as part of a shuffling of senior executives aimed largely at adjusting to technology-driven shifts in its industry.

As part of his new focus, Mr. Schultz plans to work more closely with Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Ryan on what he calls “next generation retailing and payments initiatives,” the company said on Wednesday.

Mr. Schultz announced other management changes, including the appointment of Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead to chief operating officer and the promotion of Scott Maw, corporate finance senior vice president, to replace him as CFO.

“They will partner with me as I focus on Starbucks mission, growth initiatives and the convergence and integration of our retail and e-commerce, digital, card and mobile assets around the world,” Mr. Schultz said in a statement.

Mr. Alstead will now be in charge of day to day operations at Starbucks and the division heads will report to him, freeing Mr. Schultz to focus on “all things digital,” Mr. Schultz said on a call with investors.

Starbucks currently processes five million mobile payments a week and Mr. Schultz predicts that the “digital wallet” will become the primary currency for how consumer goods are purchased.

The cafe chain has long allowed customers to pay for their coffee via its mobile app and by using their loyalty cards. Mr. Schultz recently told investors that the move toward online shopping that hurt retailers especially hard during the holidays represents a “seismic shift” in customer behavior and that Starbucks is well positioned to benefit from that.

A Starbucks spokesman said the move has nothing to do with succession planning. “It’s the contrary. This frees up Howard to focus on the big prize around digital and mobile,” he said.

Last week Starbucks reported a quarterly profit of $540.7 million on $4.24 billion in revenue.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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