Starbucks John Culver to Succeed Gerardo Lopez as Executive Vice President; President, Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle's Best Coffee

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced that John Culver, senior vice president; president, Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific will succeed Gerardo “Gerry” Lopez, executive vice president; president, Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle’s Best Coffee, on February 20, 2009. Lopez is leaving the company for personal reasons.

Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo of the company, stated, “On behalf of Starbucks board, leadership team, and partners I would like to thank Gerry for his contributions over the past four years. During his time here, he led global strategy to support Starbucks growth and expansion of our consumer products worldwide. Under his leadership, we expanded our global presence through strategic partnerships and extended the Starbucks Experience outside of our stores. Gerry leaves us with a strong foundation to continue growing our Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle’s Best Coffee businesses. While we will miss him, we wish him all the best in his next endeavors.”

“We are extremely pleased to welcome John to his new role,” Schultz continued. “John is well suited for this position as he was the leader of Foodservice for five years and was responsible for building brand awareness in traditional foodservice venues for several brands within the Starbucks portfolio. Additionally, with his experience in Asia Pacific – one of the fastest growing regions for Starbucks consumer products, he is more than qualified to lead the Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle’s Best Coffee teams to continue on their path of profitability and growth globally.”

Culver, 48, has been a Starbucks partner (employee) since 2002, and has held leadership roles in the company’s Foodservice and Starbucks Coffee International business units. As the vice president and general manager of Foodservice, he was responsible for leading its sales, marketing and operations. Under Culver’s leadership, his team worked to increase the presence of the Starbucks brand with key U.S. customers and to ensure that the quality standards were maintained in over 15,000 foodservice accounts. Most recently, he was responsible for cultivating the Starbucks Experience for all Starbucks company-operated, joint-venture and licensed markets within the Asia Pacific region. Prior to Starbucks, Culver was vice president of Sales, Nestlé USA where he was responsible for foodservice sales and the sales development of more than 30 brands. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University and will be residing with his family in the Seattle area of Washington State.

“I am tremendously excited about taking on this new role,” said Culver. “In my seven years with the company, we have experienced unprecedented growth. This year and for many years to come, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our brand and expand our footprint beyond the four walls of our stores to extend our leadership position around the world.”

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at


Starbucks Corporation
Investor Relations:
JoAnn DeGrande, 206-318-7118
Deb Trevino, 206-318-7100

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