Former Starbucks COO Troy Alstead will not return

Starbucks disclosed late Tuesday that former Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead will not return to the company.

In a regulatory filing, Starbucks said Alstead notified the company on Feb. 24 that "he would not return from his extended unpaid leave (i.e., Starbucks 'Coffee Break' or sabbatical) that began on March 1, 2015," and had resigned from the company effective Feb. 29, 2016. No other details were provided in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and Starbucks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In January 2015, the coffee retail giant named Kevin Johnson, a former CEO of Juniper Networks and a Starbucks board member, as its new corporate president and COO. Johnson has been on the Starbucks board since 2009.


Alstead was well-liked within the Wall Street community, and the announcement last year that the high-level executive was taking "a sabbatical" leave to spend more time with his family was a surprise. As the No. 2 official at the time, Alstead had been considered an heir-apparent to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

Alstead joined Starbucks in 1992 when the company had around 100 stores and still was private, with stores primarily in the Northwest. Today, the chain operates more than 23,000 retail stores in 70 countries. Alstead served as CFO and group president of the global business services unit before getting promoted to COO in February 2014. He held the CFO post for six years. Alstead held earlier positions in a number of other senior roles with the Seattle-based company.

Starbucks shares closed up $1.83, or 3.1 percent, to $60.04 on Tuesday. The stock has climbed 28 percent in the past year.