Starbucks says its chief operating officer, Troy Alstead, is taking an "extended unpaid leave" after 23 years with the company.
The Seattle-based coffee chain said it would provide more details on its transition plan during its quarterly earnings call slated for Jan. 22. Alstead's last day will be March 1, the company said.
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A spokesman for Starbucks, Jim Olson, did not say whether Alstead would be returning. He said it was a "very personal decision" for Alstead, and that he had been discussing it with CEO Howard Schultz for some time.
Alstead has been with Starbucks Corp. for 23 years in a variety of leadership roles, including chief financial officer.