(Yicai Global) Aug. 26 -- Starbucks’ China office has made its chief operations officer the new chief executive officer as Belinda Wong, who was the force behind the US coffee chain giant’s remarkable success in the traditionally tea-drinking country over the past decade, relinquishes the reins but will stay on as chairman.
Leo Tsoi, who joined the Seattle-based firm in 2012, has served as Starbucks China’s chief operating officer and president of Starbucks Retail for the past five years. His COO shoes will be filled by Molly Liu, vice president and general manager of Starbuck China’s Digital Ventures Business.
“Leo has relentlessly pushed the envelope on innovation in China where customer loyalty and love for the Starbucks brand is unmatched,” Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement on the company website yesterday.
Tsoi previously held a number of other leadership positions including vice president of the North China region and chief marketing officer. He is credited with engineering the development of a diversified store portfolio to elevate the customer experience. Tsoi will take up his new appointment on Oct. 1.
“I have great confidence in Leo’s ability to continue building the relationships we have with our Chinese customers through our rapidly growing store footprint, market-leading digital ecosystem and customer engagement, and robust innovation pipeline,” Johnson added.
Wong will turn more towards delivering long term strategy for Starbucks in China through Starbucks Siren Ventures in China and other partnerships. Under her watch, the coffee giant has grown to 5,200 outlets in over 200 cities from just 400 stores in 2011.
Editor: Kim Taylor