Starbucks GC Lucy Lee Helm to Be Company's Chief Partner Officer

Starbucks Corp. moved its general counsel Lucy Lee Helm to a new role Tuesday, naming her the company's "chief partner officer."

In her role, Helm will lead the Seattle-based company's Partner Resources Organization, an internal group that is dedicated to listening to Starbucks employees and supporting their needs.

"During her years at Starbucks, she has held a variety of important positions that have, in sum, given her a comprehensive understanding of Starbucks operations and our unique culture," said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a letter to company employees announcing the change. "As many of you already know, to work with Lucy is to understand her profound passion for partner advocacy."

A Starbucks representative said Helm was not available for an interview. 

The Starbucks Partner Resources Organization, which Helm now leads, has helped usher in health care and restricted stock units to part-time and full-time employees. The company also recently launched the "Starbucks College Achievement Plan" in the United States, and a health care benefit program for employees' parents in China.

Johnson said in his letter that Helm was responsible for creating the Starbucks Global Inclusion Council, and that she sponsored several employee networks, including the Women's Development Network, Pride Network and Access Alliance Network.

Helm joined Starbucks in 1999 and has served as its general counsel since 2012. Between March and July of this year, she served as the interim leader of the Partner Resources Organization. Before joining Starbucks, Helm was a trial attorney for roughly 10 years at Seattle-based Riddell Williams, which merged with Fox Rothschild in May 2017.

As general counsel and leader of the company's law and corporate affairs department, Helm oversaw more than 225 legal and compliance employees across 16 global offices.

Deputy general counsel Paul Mutty, who joined Starbucks in 2001, is serving as interim law and corporate affairs department lead until a full-time replacement is found, said Johnson in his letter.

Contributing Author

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David Ruiz

David Ruiz is the in-house counsel reporter for the San Francisco-based legal affairs paper The Recorder. Ruiz has written for The Sacramento Bee,...

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