Another Indian enters America Inc’s corner office | The Financial Express

Another Indian enters America Inc’s corner office

Within hours of stepping down from Reckitt, Laxman Narasimhan appointed Starbucks CEO

Another Indian enters America Inc’s corner office
The 55-year-old, who stepped down as the CEO at Reckitt Benckiser, will join the US-based multinational coffee houses chain on October 1.

Another Indian has made it to the corner room of an American multinational corporation. Laxman Narasimhan has been named the next chief executive officer (CEO) of US-based coffee chain Starbucks. The 55-year-old, who stepped down as the CEO at Reckitt Benckiser, will join the US-based multinational coffee houses chain on October 1.

Narasimhan joins a long list of Indians who are leading global corporations including Sundar Pichai at Alphabet, Satya Nadella at Microsoft, Shantanu Narayen at Adobe, Parag Agarwal at Twitter, Lal Karsanbhai at Emerson, CS Venkatakrishnan at Barclays and Sanjeev Lamba at Linde. Ahead of these appointments, Indra Nooyi was selected to be CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Vikram Pandit became CEO of Citigroup in 2007, while Ajay Banga was named President and CEO of Mastercard in 2010.

Also Read| New Starbucks CEO: Another Indian-origin boss to head a global firm; ex-Reckitt boss Narasimhan takes charge

Mahindra & Mahindra Group chairman, Anand Mahindra tweeted: “What was initially a trickle of water has turned into a Tsunami. The appointment of Indian-origin CEOs at the world’s most iconic companies is now an unstoppable trend. International boardrooms consider them to be almost ‘safe’ leadership bets.”

By one estimate, in 2021, Indian-American CEOs collectively employed more than 3.6 million people worldwide and accounted for $1 trillion in revenue and $5 trillion in market capitalisation. It’s not just in the IT space, Indian- American CEOs can be found across sectors in a reflection of their leadership potential. It’s not merely in the boardrooms that Indians are making their presence felt. At Alphabet, the parent company of Microsoft, several in the top team are Indians.

An FMCG industry veteran, Narasimhan will relocate to Seattle from London and will spend some time working closely with interim CEO Howard Schultz, before assuming the leadership role and joining the Starbucks board on April 1, next year.

The world’s biggest coffee chain posted full-year revenue growth of 23.6% in 2021 to $29.1 billion, 9.8% higher than the $26.5 billion earned in 2019. Sixty-two percent of Starbucks’ stores are now located in the US and China, with the company operating 15,450 and 5,360 stores in each market respectively.

After studying at University of Pune’s College of Engineering, Narasimhan went to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school.The executive worked for global management consulting firm McKinsey from 1993 to 2012, progressing to become the director and location manager of its office in Delhi.

Narasimhan, who has also worked at PepsiCo, comes with nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. At PepsiCo, he was global chief commercial officer responsible for the company’s long-term strategy and digital capabilities. At Reckitt he led a successful rejuvenation of the company’s strategy, execution and foundational capabilities, said the Anglo-Dutch multinational FMCG giant, which owns popular household brands such as Dettol, Lysol, Harpic, Durex, Veet and Strepsils.

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