Starbucks makes big push into mobile

Starbucks Corporation is making a push into mobile this year as the brand sees a wide customer acceptance and adoption of its mobile technologies.

This was announced by Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chairman, president and CEO during a conference call. Schultz said that in the US alone, Starbucks has seen over 13 million customers actively using Starbucks’ mobile apps.

“We are now averaging more than 7 million mobile transactions in our stores each week — representing 16% of total tender. That's more than any other brick-and-mortar retailer in the marketplace," Schultz was quoted saying in The Fast Company report. To ride on this wave of mobile transactions, the company also announced its plans to launch its new order ahead feature, which will roll out first in America throughout the year.

To lead this change, Starbucks has also appointed Kevin Johnson as president and chief operating officer. Johnson, who has been a Starbucks board member since 2009, will take on the role from March this year and will report to Schultz. He will oversee Starbucks’ mobile and digital platforms along with information technology and supply chain.

Prior to this role, Johnson last served as chief executive officer of network solutions provider Juniper Networks from September 2008 through December 2013. He also served as the president of the Platforms Division at Microsoft Corporation and was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team and held a number of senior executive positions over the course of his 16 years at Microsoft.

In 2008, Johnson (pictured) was also appointed by president George W. Bush to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) where he served through the end of 2013.

In his new capacity, Johnson will lead the company’s global operating businesses across the Americas, EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa), and China and Asia Pacific. Reporting to Johnson will be Cliff Burrows, group president, US, Americas and Teavana; John Culver, group president, China /Asia Pacific, channel development and emerging brands; as well as other senior leaders responsible for Starbucks supply chain, mobile and digital, and information technology organisations.

“As a member of our board of directors, Johnson has worked closely with me for the past six years as a sounding board and collaborator on many of the strategies we are now pursuing. Johnson’s deep management experience and technology background will help further propel Starbucks efforts in partner (employee) and customer-facing innovations as we accelerate our global growth agenda,” said Schultz.

Johnson replaces Troy Alstead who recently exited the role and over the next month, Alstead will work to immerse Johnson into his levels of responsibility.