Starbucks Targets Growth With CFO Promotion

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Rachel Ruggeri Starbucks

Starbucks’ new CFO Rachel Rugger. Image credit: Starbucks

Starbucks announced that Rachel Ruggeri, the company’s SVP of Finance for the Americas will step up to become its next CFO following Patrick Grismer’s decision to retire. Ruggeri will succeed Grismer on February 1, 2021, however, Grismer will continue on as an advisor to CEO Kevin Johnson through May 2, 2021, to ensure a smooth transition.

Ruggeri will report to Johnson and lead the coffee chain’s global financial teams as they seek to “deliver consistent and predictable sales growth and margin expansion while investing in key strategic initiatives to ensure we even further differentiate Starbucks position over time,” according to a company press release.

A seasoned financial executive with over 28 years of experience, Ruggeri first joined Starbucks in 2001 as a member of the accounting team, where she helped to launch the Starbucks Card, which served as the foundation of Starbucks’ industry-leading digital engagement platform. In addition to her time at Starbucks, Ruggeri has held several financial leadership roles supporting social service organizations, as well as organizations within the food and beverage industry, including a stint as the CFO of Continental Mills.

“It gives me great confidence to know that Rachel, a long-time Starbucks colleague and a seasoned financial executive, is stepping into this role,” said Johnson. “Not only does she have a comprehensive understanding of the food, beverage and retail industry and deep knowledge of our business, she is also passionate about the Starbucks brand and is highly respected by her colleagues across the organization.”

Grismer added, “I believe Starbucks is operating from a position of strength, with a long runway of profitable growth ahead. Rachel has long been a key member of our senior finance team, and I am confident that her experience and strong leadership capabilities will help to ensure that Starbucks continues to drive improved operating performance and disciplined execution of our Growth at Scale agenda.”

Ruggeri’s promotion follows news from December 2020 of another major executive change at the coffee giant. Last month, the company announced Mellody Hobson would take over as the Non-Executive Chair of the company’s Board of Directors in March 2021.


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