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Starbucks plucks an Adobe exec as its technology chief

October 7, 2015 11:34 AM
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(Bloomberg)—Starbucks Corp. named Adobe Systems Inc. executive Gerri Martin-Flickinger to the newly created role of chief technology officer as the chain increasingly focuses on selling coffee through its mobile-phone application.

Martin-Flickinger will lead global information-technology functions and help come up with new ideas for the company’s more than 22,000 locations, Seattle-based Starbucks, No. 456 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, said in a statement Tuesday. Martin-Flickinger, most recently Adobe’s chief information officer, will report to chief operating officer Kevin Johnson.

The move is the latest sign that Starbucks sees itself as a technology company, rather than just a coffee chain. Management is trying to push more sales through its app and rewards program, which boasts 10.4 million active U.S. members. Earlier this year, Starbucks named Johnson, another seasoned technology executive, to the COO role.

Martin-Flickinger, 52, plans to relocate to the Seattle area with her family.

Last month, Starbucks completed the national rollout of its order-ahead service, which lets customers select their drinks and food on their phones before entering a store. The company is also expanding into delivery in certain markets, a plan that CEO Howard Schultz has called“e-commerce on steroids.”

 

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