Starbucks has officially appointed new CEO Laxman Narasimhan, who was expected to take over in two weeks .

He’ll deliver his first public address as chief executive on Thursday, March 23, during the firm’s annual shareholder meeting.

Narasimhan, who is the former CEO of Reckitt, has spent months researching Starbucks’ operations, including training as a barista, after being selected as the incoming CEO in September.

The official transition was scheduled for April 1.

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His previous company owns brands like Lysol, Durex, and Mucinex.

He has also worked with PepsiCo and McKinsey.

Narasimhan succeeds Howard Schultz, completing his third term as chief executive.

Schultz wrote in a letter to company leadership: “Today, I am entrusting you all with Starbucks – something that holds a place in my heart second only to that of my beloved family.”

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He took over about a year ago after former CEO Kevin Johnson shook investors by announcing his departure.

Schultz stopped the company’s buyback program for several months and resisted baristas’ union efforts during his tenure.

He also revealed a new strategy to keep up with the company’s business transformations.

Starbucks stock has climbed nearly eight percent after Schultz’s return on April 4, raising its market value to $113 billion.

The S&P 500, meanwhile, has dropped more than 13 percent in that period.

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While leaving office earlier than expected, Schultz will still appear before a Senate panel on March 29 over the company’s alleged union-busting actions.

Schultz said in September that he had no plans to return as Starbucks’ CEO.

Investors have pressured the corporation to ensure this does not happen again.

On Thursday, March 23, shareholders will vote on a proposal from SOC Investment Group, representing union-sponsored pension funds.

It would require the Starbucks board to begin succession planning at least three years beforehand.

Source: CNBC

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