Starbucks Head of Coffee Trading Arm Leaves Unit

(Bloomberg) -- The head of Starbucks Corp.’s coffee-trading arm has left the company as the world’s largest coffee-shop chain struggles to reverse stagnant sales and lure new consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Colman Cuff, managing director of Starbucks Coffee Trading Co., left the trading arm in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the end July, said the people, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public. A company spokesman declined to comment.

Cuff handled $1.5 billion in green coffee, cocoa and tea purchases, according to his LinkedIn profile. His departure comes on the heels of Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw’s retirement as investors worry about how the company will drive growth now that visionary leader Howard Schultz has moved on.

Starbucks is trying to revive sales in a saturated U.S. market while its bets in China as the new frontier of coffee consumption are yet to pay off. The company is planning to shake up its business with corporate layoffs that will start at top levels, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.

The coffee giant, once considered at the forefront of trends in the market, has seen increasing competition from micro-roasters, which are attracting the new hipster consumer who wants to know where coffee comes from and have more control over how it’s brewed.

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