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SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. will be waking up and smelling the coffee today under new leadership as one of the industry's most respected retail executives assumes the helm of the world's leading coffee retailer, roaster, and brand marketer.
Jim Donald, who most recently served as chairman, president, and c.e.o. of Carteret, N.J.-based Pathmark, officially begins his new role as president and c.e.o. today following Thursday's retirement of Orin Smith, who announced his decision last October.
Donald, who will also join Starbucks' board of directors, filling the seat vacated by Smith, worked closely with Smith and Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to maintain the company's momentum as it solidifies its position as an enduring global brand. Schultz and Donald will continue working closely together to lead the company into its next phase of growth and innovation.
"I look forward to working with Jim for years to come," Schultz said, noting Donald's "true sense of humanity" and an understanding of "what it means to be a world-class merchant. Starbucks is fortunate to have the benefit of Jim's outstanding passion for our people and our culture, as well as his business acumen and leadership qualities."
Donald joined Starbucks in 2002 as president, North America. In this position, he was responsible for the overall management, business development, and operations of Starbucks in all North American markets. During this period the company experienced record financial performance, attributable largely to its success in North America.
"I am proud to be part of Starbucks outstanding management team," said Donald. "When I joined Starbucks more than two years ago, I was optimistic about the opportunities ahead of us. Today I am more enthusiastic than ever about the company's future."
Prior to his appointments at Starbucks and Pathmark, Donald was a key executive in Wal-Mart's development of its supercenter format, supervising all merchandising, distribution, store design, and real estate operations. He also served as president and manager of Safeway's 130-store Eastern Division and rose through the managerial ranks at Albertsons' Florida, Alabama, and Texas divisions to become head of its Phoenix operations.