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Future of British Business

Starbucks’s Boss Is a Move-Fast Espresso Drinker New to Retail

  • Outgoing Reckitt CEO Narasimhan joins coffee chain in flux
  • Executive faces huge in-tray including a unionizing workforce
Laxman Narasimhan
Laxman NarasimhanPhotographer: Guillermo Gutierrez/Bloomberg

Starbucks Corp.’s incoming boss is used to feeling like an outsider. 

Laxman Narasimhan, who will head the world’s biggest coffee chain despite never having run a retail or restaurant business, was a newcomer when he took the helm at British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc three years ago.