Starbucks CEO says he’ll work coffee shops once a month
Laxman Narasimhan, new CEO of Starbucks, September 7, 2022.
Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan told employees on Thursday that he would work half a day a month at one of the coffee giant’s sites.
Narasimhan took the helm on Monday and will lead the company’s shareholders’ meeting on Thursday. He joined Starbucks in October, spending months learning the trade. This included 40 hours of barista training and wearing the signature barista green apron.
But he’s not hanging up the apron yet.
“To keep us close to the culture and our customers, as well as our challenges and opportunities, I intend to continue to work in the stores for half a day each month, and I expect each member of the management team that it also ensures our support centers stay connected and engaged with the realities of our stores to discuss and improve,” he wrote in a letter to employees Thursday morning.
His commitment comes at a difficult time for the company’s relationship with its baristas. On Friday, more than 190 company-owned Starbucks locations voted to unionize, according to data from the National Labor Relations Board. Workers cited unsafe working conditions, understaffing and unreliable schedules as some of the reasons they favor a union.
Before joining Starbucks, Narasimhan was managing director of Reckitt, which owns brands like Lysol and Durex. Previously, he worked at PepsiCo and McKinsey.