Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) announced today the appointment of Cynthia A. Vahlkamp to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Vahlkamp will head the Starbucks Worldwide Marketing Organization and be responsible for all aspects of the Starbucks brand and product offerings, providing the strategic marketing direction to fuel the Company’s growth as a global brand.

“With her extensive background in consumer and business marketing, branding and product innovation, I am very confident that Cynthia will be a tremendous asset to Starbucks,” said Orin Smith, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. “Cynthia emerged as the lead candidate in a very thorough search, and I am excited to entrust her with the stewardship of our brand.”

In addition to her brand and product line responsibilities, Vahlkamp will be responsible for visual strategy, research and development, and marketing integration across channels and geographies. She will report to Orin Smith.

“Cynthia and her team will have the responsibility of balancing Starbucks growth while retaining the elegance and style of our brand,” continued Smith. “With Cynthia providing her vision and strategy, the Worldwide Marketing Organization will continue to shape the Starbucks brand across all channels of our business — from our coffeehouses to our presence in grocery stores, from North America to Asia, Europe and beyond.”

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for building lasting value,” said Vahlkamp. “The Starbucks brand is one I value and respect as a customer and as a business person. The opportunity to join a very special team of partners in continuing that growth is a joy and an honor.”

Vahlkamp comes to Starbucks with extensive experience in marketing and senior general management roles in consumer products, consumer hard goods, and specialty retailing, in the U.S. and abroad, including fourteen years with the Quaker Oats Company and General Food Corporation. Vahlkamp’s business-building results have been recognized for their marketing excellence, product and packaging innovation, and category-driving growth. She has been recognized with such awards as the WPP Global Integrated Marketing Award for the launch of the GrillMaster brand, and the American Culinary Institute gold award for excellence in product innovation. Additionally, Vahlkamp’s work in Europe for Quaker Oats led to a record-setting product launch in the United Kingdom.

Vahlkamp has previously held senior general and marketing management roles at CompuServe and Sunbeam as well as Hardware.com. Most recently she was the founder of Momentum Marketing Partners LLC. She earned a master’s degree from the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Chinese from The University of California, Berkeley.

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, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Starbucks.com. 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 provides Starbucks in-store music and produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.