Starbucks Chief Operating Officer and 23-Year Company Veteran will Take Extended Unpaid Leave


Starbucks has not given a reason for Alstead’s upcoming leave. 

Troy Alstead, Starbucks chief operating officer and a 23-year veteran of the company, will take an extended unpaid leave from the company beginning in March, the company announced Thursday, December 8.

Alstead, who was previously the company’s chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, was appointed to the position of chief operating officer last year. At the time, analysts saw Alstead as the potential handpicked successor to Starbucks president and chief executive, Howard Schultz.

A reason for Alstead’s leave of absence has not been given, but Alstead and Schultz are expected to provide transition details during the company’s upcoming first-quarter earnings call on January 22.  


“Looking back on the 23 years we spent together side-by-side as Starbucks colleagues, I can recall so many memorable moments and accomplishments in which Troy can take pride in a job well done,” announced Howard Schultz. “Troy is a beloved Starbucks partner and has played an invaluable role in our growth as an enterprise and in the development of our culture as a performance-driven company balanced with humanity, which is unique for our industry. Troy’s humanity and humility will be missed and we wish him the best.”