Starbucks nominates Microsoft CEO Nadella to its board


Starbucks Corp nominated Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Satya Nadella to its board at a time when the company is increasingly focusing on technology to drive sales.

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The announcement comes a month after former Microsoft executive Kevin Johnson was named Starbucks CEO to replace co-founder Howard Schultz. Schultz, who will step down in April, will remain as executive chairman.

The world's biggest coffee chain is investing heavily on expanding its digital capabilities.

About 8 percent of the company's transactions in the United States are now made on its mobile app - up from 6 percent in the fourth quarter, Starbucks said at its investor day last month.

The company also laid out plans to equip 80 percent of its more than 25,000 stores around the world with digital enhancements such as mobile order, mobile pay and personalization by 2019.

"Satya Nadella will bring extensive experience and an understanding of how technology will be used and experienced around the world," Starbucks said in a statement.

The company also said it nominated Rosalind Brewer, chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Sam's Club division and J��rgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of the��LEGO Brand Group, to its board.

The appointments will expand the size of the board to 14 from 12.

The nominees will be subject to a shareholder vote at the company's annual meeting on March 22.

Jamie Shennan, a long time Starbucks director, will be retiring before the annual meeting, the company said.

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)