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Starbucks to Cut 1,000 Jobs, Eliminate COO Position

Seattle Starbucks Corp. said on Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 support jobs and eliminating the post of COO as a part of its bid to re-energize the brand and boost its profit by cutting costs. The shake-up also includes the departure of the one-time head of Starbucks ailing U.S. business.

The company said Martin Coles will move from the role of COO back to his prior position as president of Starbucks Coffee International. He will replace Jim Alling, who is leaving the company.

Alling had been in charge of the company's U.S. business under former chief executive Jim Donald and moved to the international job when Coles was named COO last year.

Donald was replaced as CEO by Howard Schultz, the founder and chairman of Starbucks, in January.

Schultz said he made the decision to eliminate the COO job so that he could have "a direct line of sight" into the company's businesses.

In a letter to all employees, Schultz said the gourmet coffee chain is reducing the number of positions and partners across the country.

"Although it is not easy, hopefully, we realize that part of transforming Starbucks is our ability to look forward, while pursuing innovation," he wrote. "We strongly believe that our decisions to close underperforming stores and reduce our partner work force will help support Starbucks' continued growth."

In recent weeks, Starbucks has announced the closing of 600 U.S. stores and on Tuesday it said it would close 61 of the 84 stores located in Australia.

The 1,000 job cuts announced Tuesday represent 15% of the company's non-store positions, a spokeswoman said, adding that about 450 of the jobs were already vacant.

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