Kevin Johnson to take over as Starbucks’ CEO as Howard Shultz focuses on Reserve brand

Kevin Johnson will step into the position of Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks as former CEO Howard Shultz transitions to Executive Chairman to focus on the company’s ultra-premium retail formats.

Johnson, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, has been a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors for seven years and has worked closely with Shultz for the past two as he assisted Shultz “in running every facet of the Starbucks business.”

Effective April 3, 2017, Shultz will focus on innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries as well as the Starbucks Reserve retail store format.

Starbucks’ flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room is located in Seattle, WA, USA- a short walk from their original coffee shop at Pike Place, which Shultz himself describes as the ‘Willy Wonka’ of coffee.  The success of this flagship store has led Starbucks to announce that it will build three more Roasteries, one Shanghai in 2017 and one each in New York City and Tokyo in 2018.  Additionally, the company plans to open 1,000 stores with ‘a Reserve coffee bar experience’ by the end of 2017. 

As a company consistently on the cutting edge of coffee industry trends and the largest global coffee shop brand, the Starbucks Reserve concept is a strong example of the emerging 5th Wave in the evolution of the coffee market.

The 5th Wave, The Business of Coffee, is a compelling combination of the previous four waves-  Tradition, Branded Chains, Artisan and The Science of Coffee.  5th wave companies take a highly business-driven approach to deliver artisan concepts at scale.  These highly targeted operators focus on hyper-professionalism to execute premium quality of experience across all aspects of the business.

For more on the 5th wave of coffee read our article: The 5th Wave of Coffee Unveiled at The European Coffee Symposium 2016
2 December 2016
2 December 2016

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