Starbucks will see its chief financial officer, Scott Maw, retire November 30; this, amid the planned 2019 closing of more stores than normal, a controversy that led to the need for a corporate-store diversity retraining program chainwide in the U.S., and a new marketing deal in the omnichannel marketplace with Nestlé, effectively selling most of its coffee bean business for $7.15B and future royalties. For Maw, the retirement decision comes after being with the company for seven years, and four years in the CFO role.
He started with the company as global controller in 2011 and later was promoted to senior vice president of corporate finance.
Maw has a background in insurance and financial services, and is a graduate of Gonzaga University, according to LinkedIn. He’s worked at top companies, including General Electric and JPMorgan Chase, and now resides in Seattle. His retirement comes at a precarious juncture, but is not reported to be related to any recent developments.
“As we enter our next phase of continued growth, I am confident in the finance team Scott has developed and am appreciative of his willingness to support through the transition into new leadership,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, in a company release.
The move to partner with Nestlé S.A. is seen by analysts as a small price to pay for Starbucks to refocus on its coffeehouse business. The deal gives Nestlé additional firepower to battle JAB Holding Company, the parent of several coffee producers and quick-serve breakfast and lunch chains, including Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and Panera Bread. Nestlé’s portfolio will now include Starbucks Reserve, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Teavana, joining Nescafé and Nespresso brands. Nestlé will be distributing Starbucks K-cup coffee, the top coffee pod brand in the Keurig system, according to Forbes.
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