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Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson will kick off the GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota).

We’re going to open the 2017 GeekWire Summit with a jolt.

Kevin Johnson, the respected technology executive who was named the new Starbucks CEO earlier this year, will kick off our sixth annual GeekWire Summit with a fireside chat the morning of Oct. 10 in downtown Seattle. Johnson, who previously served as a Microsoft divisional president and Juniper Networks CEO, succeeded Howard Schultz to lead the next phase in Starbucks’ evolution.

We’re especially excited to sit down with Johnson to talk about the future of retail, and how Starbucks is transforming into a tech-powered company that thinks just as much about digital transformation as it does about double-tall lattes. As we noted last month, Johnson and other Starbucks executives used the word “digital” more than 70 times in their quarterly earnings call.

And speaking of the new world of retail, we’re also thrilled to announce that Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta — whose company is changing the way people shop for groceries — will join us for a fireside chat during the two-day GeekWire Summit. The grocery market is rapidly changing, and Mehta — a former supply chain engineer at Amazon — will share insights on the changing face of grocery shopping and a few entrepreneurial lessons that he’s learned along the way.

Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta

Johnson and Mehta join a big lineup of speakers, which also includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson; and Duke University autonomous vehicle expert and former Navy pilot Missy Cummings. That’s just a small portion of the lineup; we’ll have more announcements in the weeks ahead.

Early-bird tickets are available for the GeekWire Summit here. Don’t snooze. With this lineup — including other high-profile speakers to be announced soon — we do expect the event to sell out.

Now in its sixth year, the GeekWire Summit brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, business executives, scientists and tech leaders to explore the future of the innovation economy.

This year’s GeekWire Summit takes place Oct. 9-11 in downtown Seattle, and in addition to the amazing sessions, we also pack the event with fun parties, interactive demos and great networking. A few other surprises also are in store for this year. We hope you’ll join us.

Learn more on the GeekWire Summit event page and register below.

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