Industry News | May 19, 2012

Starbucks Announces Leadership Changes

Starbucks Coffee Company announced several leadership changes to accelerate its innovation and growth. The company announced the following leadership moves as it further strengthens its three-region operating model:

  • Lucy Lee Helm was named executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary
  • Arthur Rubinfeld was named chief creative officer and president, Global Development and Evolution Fresh Retail
  • Annie Young-Scrivner was named executive vice president and president, Starbucks Canada
  • Colin Moore was named senior vice president, Enterprise Optimization
  • Craig Russell was named senior vice president, Global Coffee coinciding with the retirement of Dub Hay as senior vice president, Global Coffee Authority this November


“As we continue to sharpen our focus and strengthen our three-region operating model, local relevancy and speed of decision making are two critical requirements we must deliver so that we can seize opportunities,” says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president, and CEO.

“We will never rest when it comes to coffee innovation and elevating the overall coffee experience for our customers. The leadership moves we announced today will enable us to more swiftly position ourselves for the exciting opportunities ahead while never losing sight of the fact that we are a global brand with a rich heritage in coffee, long-standing values, and the responsibility to use our scale for good.”

Lucy Lee Helm: executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary

Helm has been a partner (employee) at Starbucks for more than 12 years and her appointment as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary comes after serving as interim general counsel since April of 2012.

She will lead the Law & Corporate Affairs (L&CA) department, support the Starbucks Board of Directors, and serve as a member of the company’s senior leadership team. Helm has previously led the Starbucks Litigation & Brand Protection (intellectual property) team, L&CA Operations, Global Business (commercial) team, and Litigation & Employment team.

She currently chairs the company’s Policy Governance Council and also serves as the executive sponsor of L&CA’s pro bono program. Helm will report to Schultz.

Arthur Rubinfeld: chief creative officer and president, Global Development and Evolution Fresh Retail

Rubinfeld will expand his role to chief creative officer and president, Global Development and Evolution Fresh Retail. In addition to continuing to lead strategic store site selection and design, he will be responsible for developing and integrating a dynamic brand experience for Starbucks customers around the world.

Rubinfeld, who was responsible for the design of the company’s first Evolution Fresh juice store that opened in March in Bellevue, Washington, will also continue to lead the Evolution Fresh retail store strategy.

Rubinfeld initially joined Starbucks in 1992, spending 10 years growing Starbucks retail presence from 100 stores to 4,000 stores around the world. He returned to Starbucks in 2008 to lead global store development. He will continue to report to Schultz and serve on the company’s senior leadership team.

Annie Young-Scrivner: executive vice president and president, Starbucks Canada

Young-Scrivner has been appointed executive vice president and president, Starbucks Canada–the company’s largest market outside the U.S. Starbucks opened its first store outside the U.S. in Canada 25 years ago.

She will be based at Starbucks Canada’s Toronto Support Center where she will bring more than 20 years of innovative marketing experience to this priority market. Young-Scrivner will assume her new role by the end of September, the conclusion of the company’s current fiscal year. She will report to Cliff Burrows, president, Americas and U.S.

To be more nimble and locally relevant, Starbucks has moved its marketing and category functions to the regional and market level.

As a result, the company will not replace the global chief marketing officer role that Young-Scrivner previously held. However, the company has formed a cross-functional global brand leadership team, led by Vivek Varma, executive vice president, Public Affairs, to deliver regional and channel-specific brand alignment and breakthrough innovation. Additionally, this team will ensure local marketing and category initiatives continue to be grounded in our company mission and values.

As Young-Scrivner focuses on leading and growing the Canadian market, Jeff Hansberry, president, Channel Development, will expand his responsibilities to include Tazo Tea which will join the company’s emerging brands portfolio along with Evolution Fresh and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Colin Moore: senior vice president, Enterprise Optimization

Moore, who currently serves as senior vice president Starbucks Americas and president, Starbucks Canada, will transition to his newly created role as senior vice president, Enterprise Optimization.

Over the past 10 years, he has led the Canadian team in building Starbucks largest market outside the U.S. In his new role, Moore will report to chief financial officer Troy Alstead where he will have responsibility for driving greater financial value creation as well as economic and operating efficiencies for the company worldwide. He will continue to be based in Toronto.

Craig Russell: senior vice president, Global Coffee

Russell, who most recently served as senior vice president, U.S. Store Services, has been named senior vice president, Global Coffee. This move coincides with the announcement of Dub Hay’s retirement next November as senior vice president, Global Coffee Authority, after nearly 10 years with Starbucks.

In this expanded coffee leadership role, Russell will serve as the company voice and advocate for coffee and its business strategy. The Global Coffee team will continue to deliver a unified focus on coffee and drive innovation across all coffee platforms in addition to partnering with Starbucks Supply Chain Operations and Global Responsibility teams on ethical sourcing practices.

This team will also lead all aspects of coffee category, education, and engagement. Russell, an 11-year partner, will report to Schultz and join the senior leadership team.

Schultz says, “I cannot overstate what an incredible asset Dub has been to Starbucks as a true force in the industry, whose passion for coffee is only surpassed by his expertise. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”


I'd like to compliment you on the announcement to accelerate your innovation and growth by sharpening your focus and strengthening you regions! It is refreshing to see a company that has growth which helps to increase job opportunities for those who are needing a good career path. I have a passion for coffee and Starbucks is on the top of my list! No matter what state I have traveled on my work journey Starbucks has excellent service along with excellent products!I work in the food service industry as a recruiter for U.S. Beef Corporation (d.b.a. Arby's) therefore, I realize that leadership is what makes a company what it is. Some day I may move to Branson Missouri to be by my family and I might have to check out that career path. :)Respectfully,SherSher SyersRecruiting Specialist

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