Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan plans to work as barista once a month

Chief executive's latte days start as staff at hundreds of US outlets push unionisation efforts

Laxman Narasimhan took over the reins as Starbucks chief executive on March 20. AP
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Laxman Narasimhan, the new chief executive of Starbucks, has said he wants to work as a barista in one of the chain's coffee shops once a month, to immerse himself in the culture and interact with staff.

In a letter published before the company's annual meeting, Mr Narasimhan said he had earned his barista certification as part of his training before taking over as the company's new chief executive.

“I felt it was very important to start as a barista. I wanted to really understand what they do and how they do it,” Mr Narasimhan told Associated Press.

Mr Narasimhan said he also wants other Starbucks executives connect with store employees.

“While our performance is strong, our health needs to be stronger,” he wrote in the letter.

“We must care for the artists and the theatre in the front of our stores and the factory in the back.”

Mr Narasimhan officially took the reins of Starbucks from former chief executive Howard Schultz on Monday.

He comes into the role at a time when close to 300 of Starbucks' 9,000 US-based stores have voted to unionise since 2021.

He did not mention store unionisation efforts in his letter but did say he wants to focus more on long-term retention and investment in store operations, Insider reported.

Updated: March 24, 2023, 7:39 PM