In a nod to its international expansion plans, Starbucks yesterday named Colgate-Palmolive Vice Chairman Javier Teruel to its board of directors...

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In a nod to its international expansion plans, Starbucks yesterday named Colgate-Palmolive Vice Chairman Javier Teruel to its board of directors.

Teruel has extensive experience operating consumer businesses in several countries, including Latin America and Asia.

Starbucks, a specialty-coffee retailer, plans to open 30,000 stores over the long term, half of them overseas. The company expects China to eventually become its largest market outside the United States.

Before being named vice chairman of Colgate-Palmolive in July 2004, Teruel served as executive vice president in charge of Asia, Central Europe, Africa and the brand Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

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He has also served as president and general manager of Colgate-Mexico and president of Colgate-Europe.

Teruel takes one of two board seats vacated this year by longtime board member Craig Foley and Chief Executive Orin Smith, who both retired.

Mellody Hobson, president and director of Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Capital Management, was appointed to the other board seat earlier this year.

More companies are looking for directors who can help management with strategy, said Bob Felton, the retired senior partner with McKinsey & Co., who led the consulting firm’s worldwide board governance practice.

“All of the stuff we know about Enron and WorldCom — those were failures of strategy first,” Felton said. “Then they started cooking the books.”

Felton said large, multinational companies are also looking for board members with international experience, particularly when they expect growth to come from outside the United States.

In other news, Starbucks’ board yesterday authorized the repurchase of up to 5 million shares, in addition to the 7.2 million shares that remain available under existing buyback plans.

The company has repurchased 35.7 million shares — at a cost of $1.5 billion — since the board authorized its initial repurchase program in September 2001.

The company’s stock closed yesterday at $48.31, up $1.64.

Monica Soto Ouchi: 206-515-5632 or msoto@seattletimes.com