Blue Rubicon senior consultant Tim McCoy has been appointed for the top comms role by the coffee giant following a major trawl by headhunters.
The new job follows the appointment of London-based VP public affairs international Cathy Heseltine, to whom McCoy will report.
McCoy has been at Blue Rubicon since last year, before which he was a News 24 strand editor at the BBC. The recruitment process was overseen by Ellwood and Atfield.
A central requirement of the £70,000 to £80,000 post is to ‘identify and assess external issues that will impact the reputation and sales of Starbucks UK and be part of the senior team that prepares the business to deal with those issues effectively'.
McCoy will also oversee Starbucks' CSR campaigns such as the ‘Shared Planet' ethical sourcing programme.
The news comes amid reports of Starbucks putting 31 of its British coffee shops on the market as part of plans to trim its global portfolio. This follows the closure of 765 stores and thousands of job cuts globally in the past year.
The appointment also follows numerous initiatives by Starbucks to draw consumers back into its shops. These have included the first major advertising campaign across the US, plus the reintroduction of hand-ground beans to restore the ‘romance and theatre' of coffee.
Starbucks is still looking to fill a newly-created head of public affairs role.
Last year, Starbucks appointed Edelman to handle its wide-ranging corporate comms and public affairs retainer, out of Fishburn Hedges.