Friday, January 11, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Schultz shakes up Starbucks management ranks

Seattle Times business reporter

Just days after re-assuming the title of chief executive at Starbucks, Howard Schultz is shaking things up. Two top executives are leaving the Seattle company and several others are taking on new roles.

The moves are taking place one level beneath the company's most senior executives, who remain in place.

Starbucks said the two executives leaving are Brian Crynes, chief information officer, and Sandra Taylor, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility.

Several new positions were created:

• Senior vice president of global strategy will be Michelle Gass. Formerly head of global products, which included marketing, she will report to Schultz and be responsible for implementing a transformation plan that has yet to be revealed.

• Senior vice president of marketing will be Terry Davenport, who had been an executive in Starbucks' branding department reporting to Michelle Gass.

• Chief creative officer will be Harry Roberts, a former Starbucks executive who returns to oversee the in-store experience including merchandise strategy and the overall look and feel of Starbucks shops.

• Chief technology officer will be Chris Bruzzo, who will also be acting chief information officer because Crynes is leaving. Bruzzo was vice president of digital strategy.

• New positions were added for a head of global real estate design and architecture and a head of public affairs, but no one has been named to fill them. The head of public affairs will be in charge of corporate social responsibility now that Taylor is departing.

Starbucks also announced that Chet Kuchinad, formerly head of compensation, will replace David Pace as executive vice president of partner resources, leading the company's human resources effort. Pace said in November he was resigning from the company for personal reasons effective Dec. 31.

Top officers who are unaffected are the the chief operating officer, chief financial officer, general counsel and heads of U.S. and international operations.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company


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