retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Delhaize Group said yesterday that Maura Abeln Smith has been named the company's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and General Secretary. She will be relocating to Brussels to succeed Michael Waller, who is retiring.

Smith most recently was Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel, and Secretary at PepsiCo.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks is restructuring its management team, saying that "John Culver, president of the China and Asia Pacific region, will take on Starbucks's global channel development and emerging-brands portfolio as well."

The story goes on to say that "Jeff Hansberry, who was heading up channel development, will now report to Mr. Culver as the new president of Starbucks's China and Asia-Pacific region. He is tasked with leading the region's retail business, and, in particular, its effort to build a major presence in the grocery channel in China, as it has done in the U.S."

Furthermore, "Michael Conway, a veteran of the consumer packaged-goods industry, was named executive vice president of channel development, reporting to Mr. Culver.

"Starbucks also promoted Cliff Burrows to group president for the Americas and the Europe, Middle East and Africa—or EMEA—regions, as well as the recently acquired Teavana brand, which includes about 300 retail stores in the U.S. Mr. Burrows previously headed up the Americas region.

"Reporting to Mr. Burrows, Kris Engskov was promoted to president of EMEA from his post as managing director of Starbucks's U.K. business."

Michelle Gass, who has been running EMEA for Starbucks, is said to be returning to the US "for a role that has yet to be clearly defined."
KC's View: