Starbucks is getting more serious about its social media efforts, and the Seattle coffee giant just named a 29-year-old rising star in the field to its board to help with those efforts. Clara Shih, the CEO of San Francisco-based Hearsay Social, is the latest addition to the company’s board.
Shih is not a household name, though she was recently chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2011. Prior to Hearsay Social, she worked in various marketing and product roles at Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.com.
“Clara is a true technology leader and will bring fresh insight to our strong and forward-thinking board,” said Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz in a statement. “We could not be more thrilled about the social-media expertise and ideas Clara will bring to our business as we continue to amplify the online experience and interactions Starbucks has with our customers, partners and communities.”
Starbucks has established itself as a leader in social media, with more than 26 million fans on Facebook page and 1.8 million on Twitter.
Shih is the author of The New York Times bestseller, The Facebook Era: Tapping Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate. The book is currently used as a marketing textbook at Harvard Business School.
“I am humbled and excited to be joining the board of directors of one of the most admired and respected companies in the world,” said Shih. “I couldn’t imagine a more innovative, relevant and engaged organization to be a part of and I look forward to contributing to the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Separately, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has served on the Starbucks board since 2009, notified the company that she does not plan to stand for re-election next year.
Other Starbucks board members include Bill Bradley of Allen & Company; Mellody Hobson of Ariel Capital Management; Kevin Johnson of Juniper Networks; retired PepsiCo exec Olden Lee; Joshua Cooper Ramo of Kissinger Associates; James Shennan, Jr. of Trinity Ventures; Javier Teruel, formerly of Colgate -Palmolive; Myron Ullman, III J.C. Penney Company; and Craig Weatherup, formerly of Pepsi-Cola Company.