Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) recently named Jim Alling, senior vice president, North American Retail, and Henry "Hank" J. Suerth, senior vice president, Business Alliances. Suerth replaces Alling who had previously served as senior vice president, Business Alliances.

As senior vice president, North American Retail, Alling will replace Bruce Craig, who is retiring at the end of 2001. Alling will assume responsibility of maintaining Starbucks aggressive retail growth plans and continue Craig's goal of continuously improving the customer experience.

"Jim's leadership skills and financial acumen along with his commitment to offer the highest quality products to Starbucks customers are significant assets to North American Retail," said Paul Davis, president, North America.

Alling began his career with Starbucks in 1997 as senior vice president, Grocery, where he headed the effort that established Starbucks as the number one whole bean coffee in grocery stores. Along with this achievement, Alling helped build Business Alliances into a rapidly growing $300 million business unit by developing numerous agreements with leaders in the foodservice, grocery and travel industries. Alling received a bachelor's degree in economics and Spanish from DePauw University and a master's degree in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management.

Suerth's responsibilities as senior vice president, Business Alliances include managing more than 700 licensed locations across continental North America, business partnerships and aiding in the maintenance of Starbucks annual earnings growth.

"Hank's extensive experience, broad and deep management skills, and visionary leadership will be a strong asset," Davis said. "He brings a unique perspective that will positively impact the overall development of the company."

Suerth comes to Starbucks with more than 30 years of business experience in a variety of industries. Most recently, Suerth served as president and chief executive officer at Hecklers Online, Inc., an online interactive entertainment content company. Prior to that, Suerth held two CEO positions in the consumer electronics industry. As president and CEO of Infinity Systems, Inc., a global leader in audio loudspeakers, Suerth led a management team that significantly increased both the sales and profits of this higher-end loudspeaker line. The most significant challenge was broadening its distribution to include a national retailer while increasing its business with the specialist retail trade. As president of Recoton Home Audio, Suerth was responsible for leading the operational consolidation and building distribution for the Jensen, Advent, Acoustic Research and NHT loudspeaker brands. Suerth received a bachelor's degree in industrial management at Purdue University and a master's in business administration from Harvard University.

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.