Portland News

Tuesday to See Rossann Williams Leave Starbucks, Sara Trilling Set to Replace Her

Rossann Williams ends nearly two decades of career with Starbucks on Tuesday
Rossann Williams ends nearly two decades of career with Starbucks on Tuesday

Many people are wondering about the future of Starbucks as the executive circle continues to change. The head figure in the North American market, Rosann Williams handed in her resignation from this position with an announcement from the company on Friday, stating that she will be leaving by July 21.

The company has announced that they will be replacing current president Rossann Williams with veteran Sara Trilling, another prominent name in the Asian Pacific market of Starbucks with over two decades of work in the company.

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In a surprising turn of events, Starbucks’ CEO also left the company earlier this year. Kevin Johnson stepped down in April and Howard Schultz took over as interim leader until they find his replacement. Schultz will be leading the company for the entirety of 2022.

In just a few months of leadership, Schultz has committed $1 billion to raise the wages for all employees and hit the brakes on the stock buyback program. He is also vocal about his sentiments against union efforts.

John Culver, Starbucks Chief Operating Officer revealed the news of Williams’ departure in a letter to employees.

“As we embark on the next chapter, we have made a difficult but necessary change to our North America business; a change that creates new leadership for a new era at Starbucks,” the letter wrote. “The decision was not taken lightly and was once preceded by discussion about a next opportunity for Rossann within the company, which she declined.”

In her early career, Rosann Williams worked at various companies including Toys ‘R Us and Blockbuster. She then went on to join Starbucks as a manager in 2004, spending her career for nearly two decades. Throughout her time, Williams has been against unionization.

In the past year, Starbucks has witnessed 150 cafes in the United States vote for unionization.

Johnson’s departure and comments by Howard Schultz seem to indicate that some major change was coming. The interim CEO suggested Starbucks’ primary problem was the inability to meet customer demand for customizing drinks through multiple channels, a sentiment that has been echoed by customers through the years. He also suggested that bringing in a leader from the outside as CEO would bring a comprehensive overhaul.

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