Starbucks said Thursday that CFO Pat Grismer will retire and be replaced by Rachel Ruggeri, the current senior vice president of Finance, Americas.
The move will be effective February 1. Grismer will stay in an advisory role until May. He joined the brand in November 2018 after more than 25 years of experience at Hyatt Hotels, Yum! Brands, and the Walt Disney Company.
“It has been an honor to be a Starbucks partner, and I am proud of the significant progress we have made to drive our growth strategy and unlock considerable shareholder value over the past two years,” Grismer said in a statement. “I believe Starbucks is operating from a position of strength, with a long runway of profitable growth ahead. Rachel has long been a key member of our senior finance team, and I am confident that her experience and strong leadership capabilities will help to ensure that Starbucks continues to drive improved operating performance and disciplined execution of our Growth at Scale agenda.”
Ruggeri, who’s worked at Starbucks for 16 years, has nearly 30 years of experience in accounting, financial planning and analysis, and business process improvement. She joined the company in 2001 in the accounting department, and in her first year, helped launch the first Starbucks Card. Throughout her tenure, Ruggeri has climbed the company ladder, serving as vice president of corporate financial planning and analysis, vice president of finance in support of the U.S. business, and senior vice president of finance for global retail.
As the SVP of Finance, Americas, she has led “all aspects of business planning and financial performance management, with a specific focus on creating synergy and leveraging best practices across the broader organization.”
The incoming Starbucks CFO has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound and a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington State University.
“It gives me great confidence to know that Rachel, a long-time Starbucks colleague and a seasoned financial executive, is stepping into this role,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “Not only does she have a comprehensive understanding of the food, beverage and retail industry and deep knowledge of our business, she is also passionate about the Starbucks brand and is highly respected by her colleagues across the organization. I look forward to working closely with Rachel in her new role to further fuel Starbucks success and drive value for all of our stakeholders by continuing to deliver consistent and predictable sales growth and margin expansion while investing in key strategic initiatives to ensure we even further differentiate Starbucks position over time.”
In the fourth quarter, which ended September 27, Starbucks said global same-store sales dropped 9 percent, including a 23 percent slide in transactions and a 17 percent lift in average ticket. U.S. Comps decreased by 9 percent, as well, after a 25 percent decline in transactions and 21 percent boost in average ticket.
The coffee chain opened a net of 480 new stores, pushing its total to 32,660 across the world. In December, Starbucks said it expects to reach roughly 55,000 units by 2030.