Starbucks promotes John Culver to COO and group president, North America

Coffee company also promotes Michael Conway, Michelle Burns, two seasoned executives

Starbucks promoted John Culver to group president, North America and chief operating officer. He will fill the COO role vacated by Rosalind Brewer, who left the company for Walgreens in February. The Seattle-based coffee giant also promoted Michael Conway to group president, International and Channel Development, and Michelle Burns to executive vice president, Global Coffee, Tea and Cocoa.

Soon to assume the role of chief operating officer, Culver joined Starbucks in 2002 and has been integral in the leadership of International across multiple geographies and cultures for 15 years. Starbucks International now boasts more than 15,000 retail stores and more than 800,000 points of distribution outside of these stores, thanks in large part to his work.

“As we plan for the 2022 fiscal year and beyond, Starbucks is fortunate to have a deep, talented and diverse team of senior executives we are able to tap to help lead us forward,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer. “These appointments support our Growth at Scale agenda to bring about predictable, sustainable growth for the long-term, as well as our commitments to being a People Positive and Planet Positive company. I want to congratulate John, Michael and Michelle on their promotions and look forward to continuing to work with them closely.”

Conway joined Starbucks in 2013 to lead Channel Development and subsequently went on to lead Starbucks U.S. Licensed Stores and Canada businesses. Now in the expanded role as group president, International and Channel Development, Conway will oversee the retail business segment outside the United States and Canada. In addition, he will also oversee and grow Starbucks global Channel Development business segment, also comprising Global Coffee Alliance with Nestlé.

Michelle Burns has been promoted to executive vice president, Starbucks Global Coffee, Tea and Cocoa, which she has led, making up a part of her 26-year career at Starbucks. The company said her promotion “reflects the importance of coffee as core to Starbucks business and recognizes the critical role coffee plays in the intersectionality of Starbucks Planet and People Positive goals within the coffee supply chain, on behalf of our farmers.”


The promotions take effect June 28, 2021.

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