Kevin R. Johnson, an American businessman and software engineer, served as President and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company from 2017 to 2022. Prior to succeeding Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, Johnson served as President and COO there from 2015 to year 2017.
Johnson was born on October 9, 1960, in Gig Harbor, Washington. In 1981, he graduated from New Mexico State University with a BA in Business Administration. In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from the same university.
Johnson began his career as a software engineer at IBM in 1986, working in the consulting business unit. He also oversaw software development in the financial and petroleum services sectors.
In 1992, he joined Microsoft, where he worked in the global technical support department, and later in the sales and marketing department. In 2001, he led the introduction of wireless Internet systems into Starbucks stores. In 2003, he assumed the position of Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Services at Microsoft.
On September 30, 2005, he was appointed co-chair of Microsoft’s platform division after Jim Elchin retired.
In 2006, Johnson ranked fourth on Fortune magazine’s list of rising stars in the technology sector. While overseeing the release of the Windows Vista operating system, he led Microsoft’s $6 billion acquisition of the online advertising company Aquantiv.
In 2008, Johnson resigned from his position at “Microsoft”, and in the same year also took the position of CEO of “Junpier Networks” in California, and remained in this position for about 5 years.
In 2008, Johnson was appointed by the administration of US President George W. Bush to the Advisory Committee on Communications and National Security, where he served under both Bush and Barack Obama.
In March of 2015, Johnson became president and chief operating officer of Starbucks, overseeing the company’s global operations including supply chains and technology supporting 21,000 stores in 66 countries around the world.
In December 2016, the company announced that Howard Schultz would be stepping down as CEO, and in April of 2017, Schultz personally named Johnson as his successor.
By 2018, Johnson had implemented a number of changes, including the launch of a mobile ordering and delivery service, and a global distribution agreement with Nestle for $7.15 billion, in which Nestle agreed to market Starbucks products outside of its stores in Countries such as the United States and China, as well as the use of “Starbucks” coffee in “Nespresso” and “Nescafe” products.