Starbucks announced that John Culver, will become Executive Vice President, President, Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle's Best Coffee. Currently President of Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific, he will succeed Gerardo 'Gerry' Lopez, who is leaving the company for personal reasons. Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO of the company, said: “Over the past four years, Lopez led global strategy to support Starbucks growth and expansion of our consumer products worldwide. Under his leadership, we expanded our global presence through strategic partnerships and extended the Starbucks Experience outside of our stores”.
Starbucks has never franchised, and it does not plan it. It wants stores controlled from Seattle's corporate office, either directly or through partnerships with big companies such as Safeway and Kroger.