Starbucks plans changes to company structure, layoffs

FILE PHOTO: A flag flies above the company's headquarters as Starbucks Corp opens the first upscale Starbucks Reserve store at the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. REUTERS/David Ryder

(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp SBUX.O is planning an organizational restructuring including leadership changes, according to a memo from its Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson.

“There will be some job losses, some role expansions, and redeployments,” a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

The changes come at a time when the world’s largest coffee retailer is facing a raft of challenges, including a cooling U.S market and heavy competition from rivals, while undertaking a massive expansion project in China.

“Starting next week and into mid-November there will be leadership shifts and non-retail partner impacts as we evolve the direction of teams across the organization in size, scope and goals,” Johnson said in a memo last week following a town hall.

Starbucks has seen two high profile exits since June, including Howard Schultz, its former chief executive officer whose departure stoked investor concerns on how the company would evolve after nearly four decades of Schultz’s near-constant presence.

Bloomberg had earlier reported on the organizational shakeup and the layoffs.

Reporting by Rachit Vats, Soundarya J and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta