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Starbucks picks new U.S. chief

Starbucks has reached outside the restaurant industry for the new president of its domestic operations, snapping up a seasoned retail veteran who joined Starbucks’ board a few months ago.

In addition to serving as president of Starbucks’ Americas group, Rosalind Brewer will also hold the job of corporate COO, with global responsibilities. In both of her capacities, Brewer will report directly to CEO Kevin Johnson, who came to Starbucks from the tech world.

Brewer has spent more than 30 years in management roles, including a five-year stint as CEO of Sam’s Club, the big-box chain that grew out of Walmart, as well as six years with that discount retailer.

The bulk of her career was spent at Kimberly-Clark, where she began as a scientist. Brewer is a chemist by training.

She retired from Sam’s in February.

rosalind brewer

“She has been a trusted strategic counselor to me ever since she joined our board of directors, and I deeply value her insight, business acumen and leadership expertise,” Johnson said in announcing Brewer’s appointment.

The addition of a COO completes a management changeover at Starbucks. Former CEO Howard Schultz, another retailing veteran who took over the coffee chain with virtually no restaurant experience, surrendered day-to-day leadership of the company to Johnson in early April. Schultz remains chairman. Johnson also holds the post of corporate president.

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