US coffee shop chain Starbucks has announced that effective 1 April, Jim Donald will assume the role of president and chief executive officer, following the official retirement of Orin Smith.

The company also announced that Donald will join Starbucks' board of directors, filling the seat vacated by Smith. Donald plans to maintain the company's momentum "as it solidifies its position as an enduring global brand", Starbucks added.

Donald, 51, joined Starbucks in 2002 as president of the company's North American business. Prior to Starbucks, Donald served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Pathmark Stores.