May 22 Starbucks Corp executive
Michelle Gass, who was instrumental in the world's biggest
coffee chain's post-recession U.S. turnaround, is leaving after
more than 16 years to become chief customer officer at retailer
Gass, known for having led many big initiatives at Starbucks,
including the development of Frappuccino blended drinks, will
join Kohl's in the newly created position on June 17, the
low-price department store said on Wednesday.
Gass had just been named to a new position at Starbucks,
where she was set to work directly with Chairman and Chief
Executive Howard Schultz. Most recently, she was president for
Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"The news should be viewed as disappointing to investors as
Gass was highly regarded, having helped create the overall
strategic blueprint for the brand," said Barclays analyst
He added that Gass has been a director at Ann Inc,
the parent of women's clothing chain Ann Taylor, since November
"We value her many contributions over the years," Starbucks
spokesman Jim Olson said, adding that Wednesday was Gass' last
day at the Seattle-based company.
At Kohl's, Gass will oversee areas such as marketing and
e-commerce, and will report directly to Chairman and CEO Kevin
Before she joined Starbucks, Gass worked in marketing and
new product development with Procter & Gamble Co.
Starbucks shares closed down 0.2 percent at $64.14, while
Kohl's ended down 0.5 percent at $52.08.