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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Starbucks shuffles tech execs as CIO heads to Best Buy

Starbucks is shuffling its tech leadership in the wake of its chief information officer, Stephen Gillett, taking a new job leading Best Buy’s digital ventures.

As part of the shakeup, the Starbucks tech leader who developed the company’s hugely successful mobile apps and in-store media services was promoted and now reports directly to Chief Executive Howard Schultz.

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At Starbucks, Gillett (left) was part of the company’s “transformation team” working on upgrades to business operations and customer service.

Starbucks promoted Curt Garner to CIO reporting to Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead. A 14-year veteran of the company, Garner (below left) was previously senior vice president of business technology.

Simultaneously, the company promoted Adam Brotman (below right), its senior vice president of digital ventures who led development of the new apps and customer-facing services, to chief digital officer reporting to Schultz.

“Over the past several years, there has been a seismic shift in consumer behavior in large part because of the rapid adoption of social and digital media as a primary means of connection and communication,” Schultz said in the release. “At Starbucks, we have recognized this shift and have made it a priority to establish a position on the leading edge of innovation and are now taking this a step further. Adam, Curt and their respective teams will continue to lead the way as we accelerate our digital and technology investments.”

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Meanwhile Gillett, 36, will be executive vice president and president, Best Buy Digital and Global Business Services. He’ll report to Chief Executive Brian Dunn, who heaped praise on Gillett in a news release today.

“Stephen is highly regarded for his creativity, innovation, and commitment to developing unparalleled customer experiences,” Dunn said in the release. “His tremendous accomplishments at Starbucks speak to his drive and focus. Stephen has that rare combination of business leadership skills, retail transformation experience, and digital and technological acumen — he is uniquely positioned to make an immediate difference at Best Buy.”

Last year Gillett was among 25 people named to Fortune magazine’s “executive dream team” and was named “Chief of the Year” by Information Week. He’s also a serious gamer and guild leader in online-role playing games.

Both Gillett and Brotman earlier worked at Corbis in Seattle, where Gillett was CIO and Brotman was senior vice president leading marketing and user experience.

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