Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) CEO Howard Schultz announced big changes to the company's top leadership team this afternoon. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Schultz said he was promoting Starbucks' chief financial officer, Troy Alstead, to the role of chief operating officer, a position that didn't previously exist at Starbucks. Scott Maw will move up the corporate ranks to fill Alstead's former spot as chief financial officer and executive VP of Starbucks. Maw formerly served as the company's senior VP of corporate finance.
Rounding out the changes is Craig Russell, whose title will change from senior VP of Global Coffee to executive VP of Global Coffee. Schultz hopes these changes will allow him to better focus on product innovation and next-generation payment initiatives.
Schultz has shot down the notion that the migration to online shopping will hurt Starbucks over the long term. He says Starbucks is using its mobile payment apps, its loyalty program and gift cards to deepen relationships with customers and get them to visit more often. Schultz said in the note that he would "focus on Starbucks mission, growth initiatives and the convergence and integration of our retail and e-commerce, digital, card and mobile assets around the world."
The leadership shuffle comes after a record year and fiscal first quarter for the java giant. The coffee retailer celebrated a record first quarter last week after reporting a 12% spike in quarterly sales for revenue of $4.5 billion in the period.
Starbucks says its recent management changes will go into effect on Feb. 3.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.