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Starbucks reorganizes for international growth

Starbucks Corp unveiled a reorganization on Monday that focuses the coffee chain on international expansion.
/ Source: Reuters

Starbucks Corp unveiled a reorganization on Monday that focuses the coffee chain on international expansion.

The company currently has a U.S. division and an overseas unit called Starbucks Coffee International.

Under the new structure, Starbucks will have three divisions: China and Asia Pacific; Americas; and EMEA, which will cover Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Africa.

Starbucks appointed a president for each of these regions. John Culver will oversee China and Asia Pacific. Cliff Burrows, the current U.S. president, will run Americas. Michelle Gass will manage EMEA. They will report to Chief Executive Howard Schultz.

The new structure suggests Starbucks is continuing an international push that has already generated strong growth, especially in China.

The company will "double-down on international and put our best talent against those opportunities," Schultz told Reuters.

Under Culver, the company's Asia unit will accelerate new store building in China and it plans to enter India in 2012 and Vietnam in 2013, Schultz said.

The Americas will focus on Brazil, where Schultz said Starbucks doesn't have enough stores to capture available growth opportunities.

Schultz also stressed that the executive appointments don't mean he's stepping back from running Starbucks.

"I'm not going anywhere," he said. "It has nothing to do with me stepping back or anything like that. It's taking advantage of what we think is a big-time opportunity with our strongest talent."

The company also detailed growth plans for other brands it owns.

Seattle's Best Coffee, run as an independent unit by Jeff Hansberry, has a goal of becoming a $1 billion business over time, Starbucks said.

Annie Young-Scrivner, Starbucks global chief marketing officer, will take on the additional role of president of Tazo Tea, a business the company acquired in 1999.

"As the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, tea represents an $87 billion global market opportunity and the company intends to build Tazo into a globally recognized multibillion-dollar brand," Starbucks said.

In after-hours trading, Starbucks shares were unchanged from their close of $39.74 on the Nasdaq.

Hansberry and Young-Scrivner will also report to Schultz.