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Starbucks European IT director moves to education publisher Pearson

Robert Teagle quits the coffee company after eight years as European IT chief

Starbucks Coffee’s European IT director Robert Teagle has left the retailer to take on responsibility for European technology at education publisher Pearson.

Teagle took over as vice-president of Europe and partner markets at Pearson in July 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is responsible for technology across eight countries in Europe and 156 countries where Pearson has partners. His role covers all enterprise systems and digital products offered as part of delivering the company’s education services to learners.

"I'm excited to join Pearson, the education industry is going through significant change with technology and digital products, and Pearson is at the forefront of delivering this change," he said.

Teagle had been at Starbucks since 2007, where he led IT across the 30 markets Starbucks owns and operates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During his time at the coffee company, Teagle was heavily involved in a number of mobile initiatives, such as a click and collect service, which allows customers to pre-order drinks on the Starbucks mobile app.

“The goal is to keep as much as we can to the mobile. Two or three years ago, we were looking at where we could put television screens in stores, only to find that people were bringing their own screens. This is why we want to provide our consumers with more mobile tools to enrich their experience in our stores,” he told Computer Weekly in an interview in May 2014.

Teagle also led the use of cloud services to support Starbucks’s IT innovation plans. The firm uses Microsoft Office 365 for email and SQL cloud services. “IT innovation has to be aligned with business goals. When we are trying to manage innovations, cloud IT certainly helps,” Teagle said at an event in October 2014.

Back in 2003, Pearson introduced cloud-based collaboration using Google and Microsoft products to provide desktop IT software for 45,000 employees. The publisher has also invested in innovation, once offering 10 education startup companies $10,000 and expert mentors as part of an incubator programme.

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