Kevin Johnson (executive)

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Kevin Johnson
Born (1960-10-09) October 9, 1960 (age 58)
ResidenceBellevue, Washington
Alma materNew Mexico State University
OccupationPresident and CEO, Starbucks

Kevin R. Johnson (born October 9, 1960) is an American businessman. He is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Starbucks Corporation and was previously the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, California, from September 2008 to January 2014.[1][2] Johnson became the CEO of Starbucks on April 3, 2017.[3]


In 1981, Johnson earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from New Mexico State University.[4] Upon graduation, he began his career as an engineer at IBM.[5]

In 1992, Johnson joined Microsoft, where he served in a range of executive assignments for 16 years. Johnson was appointed group vice president of Microsoft's worldwide sales, marketing and services in 2003, and he was named co-president of the Windows and Online Services division in 2005. When fellow co-president Jim Allchin retired a year later, Johnson was named president of the Windows and Online Services division.[2]

Johnson also served as a member of the Western Region Board of Advisors of Catalyst, a non-profit organization dedicated to women's career advancement.[4] He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) and is also a board member of Starbucks Coffee Company.[6]

In September 2008, Johnson joined Juniper Networks as CEO.[7][8][9][10] In a statement announcing Johnson's departure from Microsoft to serve as CEO of Juniper, Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, praised Johnson's contribution to the company.[11] In July 2013, Juniper Networks announced that Johnson would step down as CEO and planned to retire. He continued to serve as CEO while a search for a new CEO was conducted.[12] In January 2014, Johnson was succeeded as Juniper CEO by Shaygan Kheradpir.[13]

In December 2016 it was announced that Howard Schultz would step down as CEO of Starbucks in April 2017, and Johnson would succeed him as president and chief executive officer of Starbucks Corporation.[14] Under Johnson's leadership as CEO, Starbucks has aimed to grow from roughly 26,000 locations as of 2017 to 37,000 by 2021.[15]

Johnson revealed that a brush with skin cancer earlier in his career prompted him to take a step back from work in order to prioritize his health, loved ones and "things that are joyful".[16] Paid family leave advocates have appealed to Johnson to include baristas in the company's paid parental family policy for corporate employees, citing the need for families to be able to care for the birth of a child or a relative battling cancer.[17]

After his first year as CEO, investors and analysts did not have a clear assessment of his success as leader. According to CNBC, the company's growth in China won him praise. Conversely, he received criticism over the weak sales of food and beverages and merchandise in the U.S.[18]

In May 2018, Johnson made a public apology for an incident at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia in which two young black business men had reportedly waited for a third man to arrive before they ordered. After refusing to leave when asked, the police were called. Six officers arrived and the two were led away in handcuffs.[19][20]


  1. ^ "Juniper Networks Names Kevin Johnson Chief Executive Officer". July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  2. ^ a b "Kevin Johnson to leave Microsoft for Juniper". CNET NEWS. July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  3. ^ "How Starbucks Can Guarantee Its CEO Transition Succeeds". Fast Company. April 3, 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  4. ^ a b "Juniper Hires Microsoft's Kevin Johnson As CEO". EFY News Network. July 26, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-03.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Ward, Marguerite (2017-04-03). "3 ways CEO Kevin Johnson's leadership style could shape Starbucks". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  6. ^ "Executive Team". October 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  7. ^ "Microsoft Windows Exec Kevin Johnson Jumps To Juniper". InformationWeek. 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  8. ^ "Juniper CEO: Timing right to step aside". Network World. 2008-07-25. Archived from the original on 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  9. ^ Sutton, Mark (2008-07-25). "Kevin Johnson signed as new Juniper CEO". ITP.Net. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  10. ^ Lai, Eric (2008-07-23). "Update: Windows and online chief to leave Microsoft in wake of Yahoo tussle". Computerworld. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  11. ^ "Top online, Windows exec to depart Microsoft". 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  12. ^ Bent, Kristin. "Juniper CEO Johnson Out Amid Q2 Earnings". CRN. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  13. ^ "Juniper Networks gets new CEO". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  14. ^ McGrath, Maggie (2016-12-01). "Howard Schultz Stepping Down As Starbucks CEO". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  15. ^ Taylor, Kate (2017-04-03). "Starbucks' new CEO tells us he'll never be Howard Schultz halehluijah- and that's great news for the brand". Business Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  16. ^ "A Conversation with New Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson". Starbucks Newsroom. Starbucks. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  17. ^ "Everyone should have a shot at paid family leave". CNN. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  18. ^ Whitten, Sarah (2018-03-30). "One year into Starbucks' top job, CEO Kevin Johnson still has a lot to prove". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  19. ^ Emily, Stewart. "Two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks for doing nothing". Vox. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Gourguechon, Prudy. "The Psychology Of Apology: How Did Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson Do?". Retrieved 29 May 2018.