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Starbucks on 39th and Walnut on April 3, 2022. Credit: Jesse Zhang

Wharton MBA graduate Laxman Narasimhan will join Starbucks as the new chief executive officer and a member of the Starbucks Board of Trustees, the company announced Thursday.

Narasimhan — who currently resides in London — will assume his role as CEO of Starbucks in Seattle, Washington, on Oct. 1, succeeding interim CEO Howard Schultz. He will join the Board of Trustees on April 1, 2023.

“Laxman is an inspiring leader. His deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations at global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice to accelerate Starbucks growth and capture the opportunities ahead of us,” Mellody Hobson, Independent Starbucks Board of Directors chair, wrote in a statement announcing Narasimhan’s appointment.

Narasimhan previously held the position of CEO at Reckitt, a company that owns well-known health and hygiene brands such as Lysol, Durex, and Mortein. He was also the global chief commercial officer at PepsiCo and a senior partner at McKinsey & Company.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Brookings Institution and a member of Verizon’s Board of Directors.

Narasimhan earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pune in India. He graduated from the Lauder Institute with a master’s degree in German and International Studies and earned an MBA at the Wharton School in 1993.

Schultz has been acting as interim CEO of Starbucks since his successor Kevin Johnson retired after just five years at the company. As interim CEO, Schultz earns just $1 as his salary, according to CNBC News. Schultz will act as an advisor, closely working with Narasimhan to prepare for his new role at Starbucks.

This announcement comes as Starbucks workers across the nation are filing petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to hold elections on union representation. Two of these stores are located in University City, near Penn's campus — the Starbucks on 3401 Walnut St. and the Starbucks near Penn Medicine on 3400 Civic Center Blvd.

"I am humbled to be joining this iconic company at such a pivotal time, as the Reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today and set us up for an even stronger future,” Narasimhan said in a press release.