Starbucks plans changes, layoffs

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wikimedia/Zhaofeng Li/CC BY-SA
wikimedia/Zhaofeng Li/CC BY-SA

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp is planning an organizational restructuring including leadership changes, according to a memo from its chief executive officer Kevin Johnson.

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“There will be some job losses, some role expansions, and redeployments,” a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

The changes come at a time when the world’s largest coffee retailer is facing a raft of challenges, including a cooling US market and heavy competition from rivals, while undertaking a massive expansion project in China.

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“Starting next week and into mid-November there will be leadership shifts and non-retail partner impacts as we evolve the direction of teams across the organization in size, scope and goals,” Mr Johnson said in a memo last week following a town hall.

Starbucks has seen two high profile exits since June, including Howard Schultz, its former chief executive officer whose departure stoked investor concerns on how the company would evolve after nearly four decades of Mr Schultz’s near-constant presence.

Bloomberg had earlier reported on the organizational shakeup and the layoffs, saying it contacted the company and a spokeswoman said the changes will entail an undetermined number of layoffs and include some employee shifts between company departments.

Seattle Times said this is the first significant Starbucks reorganization under Johnson’s leadership. He took over the CEO title from Howard Schultz in 2017. Mr Schultz stepped down from the board of directors this summer and is phasing out his involvement in the company.

Starbucks is also looking for a new chief financial officer, the US-based newspaper said.

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