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Originally published Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM


2 leave, others get new roles in Starbucks' executive shift

Just days after reassuming the title of chief executive at Starbucks, Howard Schultz is shaking things up. Two top executives are leaving...

Seattle Times business reporter

Just days after reassuming 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 happening one level beneath the company's most senior executives, who remain in place.

Starbucks said Friday 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, 39. 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, 49, who had been an executive in Starbucks' branding department reporting to Gass.

• Chief creative officer will be Harry Roberts, 65, a former Starbucks executive who returns to oversee the in-store experience, including merchandise strategy and the look and feel of Starbucks shops. Roberts has worked for Starbucks twice before in creative roles, most recently in 2004 and 2005.

• Chief technology officer will be Chris Bruzzo, 38, who will also be acting chief information officer. Bruzzo was vice president of digital strategy.

• New positions added were 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 for personal reasons, effective Dec. 31.

Top officers unaffected by Friday's announcement are 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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