Industry News | October 29, 2009

Starbucks Appoints New Head of Human Resources

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Starbucks Coffee Company announced the appointment of Kalen Holmes as executive vice president of Partner Resources (Human Resources). She will report to chairman, president, and CEO Howard Schultz.

“We are excited to have Kalen join the Starbucks leadership team as the global leader of our Partner Resources organization,” Schultz says. “She brings a great passion for serving partners (employees), with the experience and energy we need to elevate the partner experience.”

With her extensive Human Resources (HR) background, Holmes will have full accountability for the company’s global Partner Resources strategy, including all generalist and specialist functions. Holmes most recently served as HR general manager for the Entertainment and Devices division at Microsoft in Seattle. She has been with Microsoft for the past six years, also holding leadership roles with Microsoft’s Server and Tools division and Corporate Staff businesses, and has had HR responsibility for the company’s development centers in Israel and India.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Holmes served in a variety of industries, including high-tech, energy, pharmaceuticals, and global consumer sales. As an HR leader, she has managed multiple geographies and diverse business units throughout her career, at companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and PepsiCo.

Holmes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organization Psychology from the University of Houston. She serves on the executive board for the Center for Human Resource Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is on the board of directors for the YWCA King and Snohomish counties.

Olden Lee, a member of Starbucks’ board of directors, has served as interim executive vice president of Partner Resources since April. Lee will stay on to assist Holmes during her transition and support Starbucks Coffee International on an interim basis.

“I am grateful for Olden’s continued leadership and support of the business,” Schultz says.