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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Starbucks and HP?

"Put that Coffee Down...Coffee's for Closers

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Pete Bocian will leave the coffee chain at the end of the month to join computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as chief administrative officer.

Bocian, 54, had a short tenure at Seattle-based Starbucks, which has been closing U.S. stores as it grapples to revive its flagging domestic business amid the weak economy.

Bocian joined Starbucks in April 2007 from NCR Corp (NCR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a maker of automated teller machines (ATMs), and became CFO in October 2007, a company spokeswoman said.

Troy Alstead, 45, Starbucks' senior vice president of global finance, will succeed Bocian.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Larry Miller said he held Bocian in very high regard.

"I'm a little surprised. He hasn't been there very long," Miller said, noting that it seemed like Bocian was moving on to a good position.

Still, Miller said, "Nobody likes change on the investor side ... Anytime there is a change in management it brings questions."

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