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Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) announced today that Jim Donald, former chairman, president and chief executive officer, Pathmark Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:PTMK), has accepted the position of president, Starbucks North America. He will assume his new role in early November, and will report to Orin Smith, president and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company.
Donald succeeds Howard Behar, former head of Starbucks Coffee International, who came out of retirement in September 2001 to lead Starbucks North America on an interim basis. Behar, who will work closely with Donald during the transition of responsibilities, will remain on the Board of Directors of Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Coffee International.
Donald, who has served in his most recent position since 1996, brings extensive retail experience to Starbucks. Additionally, he has held several senior leadership positions at top-tier retail companies including Safeway, Wal-Mart and Albertson's. Donald is credited with revitalizing and restructuring the over-leveraged Pathmark Company, culminating with its successful emergence as a public company two years ago.
"Jim's 32 years of experience in the retail and food industry will be of great value to Starbucks as we increase our offerings and expand our store base in North America," said Orin Smith. "He has exceptionally strong skills in running a multiple-unit distribution system as well as in-depth knowledge of the food industry."
Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, added, "Jim is an exceptional leader and a world-class merchant. He is well known for his people-oriented style, which makes him a perfect fit with our culture, values and guiding principles."
"The Starbucks team has established global brand leadership under the guidance of Howard Schultz, Orin Smith and Howard Behar," said Donald. "I look forward to joining Starbucks, and am excited about the opportunity to apply my industry learnings to the remarkable Starbucks success story."