Narasimhan will become Starbucks’ new CEO on October 1. He will officially start in April and will also join the company’s board of directors.
The Reckitt Benckiser Group, where Narasimhan was most recently CEO, announced: earlier on Thursday that he would resign.
Narasimhan steps into the role at a pivotal moment for Starbucks.
In the six months before Narasimhan officially takes over, he will spend time with Schultz, other business leaders, employees and customers and learn about the reinvention plan recently drawn up by Schultz, who said the company needs a revamp.
Narasimhan said in a statement Thursday that he is “humiliated” to join Starbucks “because the reinvention and investment in the partner and customer experiences enable us to meet the evolving demands we face today.”
On Thursday, Schultz said Narasimhan is the right person for the job.
“He is a strategic and transformational leader with deep experience building powerful consumer brands,” said Schultz. “He is the leader we were looking for.”
Narasimhan’s previous company, Reckitt Benckiser, is the UK-based manufacturer of several hygiene and health brands, including Durex condoms, Lysol and Mucinex. In 2019, he was named CEO of the multi-billion dollar company.
The British company said in a statement: earlier Thursday that “Laxman has decided for personal and family reasons to move back to the United States and has been approached for an opportunity that would allow him to live there.”
Mellody Hobson, independent chairman of the board of directors at Starbucks, called Narasimhan “an inspirational leader” and added that “his deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformation at global consumer-oriented companies makes him the ideal choice.”
News of Narasimhan’s appointment comes ahead of Starbucks’ annual investor day on September 13.