He will oversee the operations and business development for all markets outside the U.S. and have Starbucks five regional leaders reporting to him. Culver succeeds Martin Coles, who today resigned to pursue new opportunities.
“With our U.S. business moving in the right direction, now is the time to re-accelerate growth of our international business,” says Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks.
“John’s experience and success leading our Asia Pacific region, his deep coffee-industry knowledge, and his strong leadership skills combine to make him the ideal leader for Starbucks Coffee International today. I am excited to work closely with John as I expand the focus of my activities to include aggressive pursuit and development of our global business opportunities.”
Culver has been with Starbucks for seven years, most recently serving as president of global consumer products and foodservice. Before this role, he held a variety of positions including general manager of foodservice and president of Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific. Before joining Starbucks, Culver was vice president of sales for Nestlé USA where he was responsible for foodservice sales and the development of more than 30 brands.
Michelle Gass, recently named president of Seattle’s Best Coffee, will take on additional responsibilities as interim president of global consumer products and foodservice. A search will begin immediately to find a permanent leader for the CPG and foodservice organizations.