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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joins Starbucks' board of directors

Satya Nadella could reinforce the coffee giant's technology focus.
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Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Starbucks has long had a fondness for technology in its coffee shops, and it's now reflecting that philosophy in its directors. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just joined the Starbucks board, giving the restaurant chain a major voice from the technology industry. While it's not clear just what got Nadella on to the board (besides his clout in Seattle-area business), he doesn't mince words about his potential contribution -- he believes his "years of experience" in tech will play an important role.

Notably, Nadella hasn't been quick to join other companies' boards. His only other major board membership is at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, which he joined in 2016.

Just how this will influence Starbucks' strategy isn't clear. Nadella is a board member, not an executive, so he won't be directly calling the shots. However, board memberships have a habit of influencing what companies do -- Apple's Tim Cook has been on Nike's board since 2005, remember. While you probably aren't about to order a grande latte with your HoloLens any time soon, it won't be surprising if Nadella nudges Starbucks toward more extensive uses of tech.

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