Maria Sebastian is senior vice president, Brand, for Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa. She joined Starbucks as svp for EMEA marketing and category in June 2016 and in December 2016, assumed the expanded role, leading product innovation across Starbucks food and beverage in the region. In addition, Maria leads the marketing, category and R&D teams for EMEA, playing a key role in shaping the brand experience across 41 countries and more than 2,750 stores.
Prior to this role, Maria led global Sales and Marketing Virgin Atlantic Airways, responsible for leading Virgin Atlantic’s commercial and customer experience teams across marketing, worldwide sales, distribution/channel strategy, design, loyalty and e-business. Earlier in her career, Maria worked at American Airlines for 16 years in both Europe and the United States, ultimately serving as vice president and managing director of Sales and Marketing for EMEA and India. She was named one of the Most Compelling Women in Travel, and has also been recognized as a key talent by several U.S. Hispanic business publications, and numerous U.K. marketing publications.
Maria holds U.S. and U.K. citizenship, holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an MBA from Duke University-Fuqua School of Business. She serves on the board of British American Business, the advisory board of the National Theatre in the U.K., and the European Regional Advisory Board of the Fuqua School of Business. A native of Florida, Maria and her family have lived in London for more than 12 years. She loves to start her day with a perfectly made Starbucks Flat White.