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Laxman Narasimhan

  • Starbucks plans to spend $450 million next year to make its North American stores more efficient and less complex. Among the things driving the revamp is an ongoing unionization effort, which Starbucks opposes. More than 230 U.S. stores have voted to unionize since late last year.
  • Starbucks has named a longtime PepsiCo executive as its new CEO. The coffee giant said Thursday that Laxman Narasimhan will join Starbucks on Oct. 1 after relocating from London to Seattle, where Starbucks is based. He will work closely with Starbucks' interim CEO, Howard Schultz, through April 1, when he will assume the CEO role and join the company’s board. Narasimhan was most recently CEO of Reckitt, a U.K.-based consumer health and nutrition company that makes Lysol cleaner and Enfamil infant formula, among other products. Reckitt had announced Narasimhan’s surprise departure earlier Thursday.