Maria Sebastian is the senior vice president for Brand, Marketing, and Category for Starbucks EMEA. Starbucks in Europe, Middle East, and Africa covers 41 markets from Dublin to Dubai, Stockholm to Johannesburg, with almost 2,700 stores, and 30,000 partners who proudly wear the green apron. In this role, she is responsible for growing and elevating the Starbucks brand throughout the region as well as leading product innovation across both the food and beverage categories. Maria joined Starbucks in 2016 after spending 20 years in the airline industry.
Maria joined Starbucks from UK superbrand Virgin Atlantic Airways where she spent 4 years leading sales and marketing teams, most recently as Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Engagement. Maria was responsible for leading Virgin Atlantic’s global commercial and customer experience teams across marketing, worldwide sales and distribution, loyalty, design, customer experience, and e-business. Prior to Virgin Atlantic, Maria was at American Airlines for 16 years in both Europe and the US, leading a number of commercial teams, most recently as Vice President and Managing Director of Sales and Marketing for EMEA and India.
Holding both US and UK citizenship, Maria grew up in Florida and graduated from Tulane University in Louisiana, and later earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University in North Carolina. She is on the board of directors of British American Business Inc., and the Fuqua School of Business European Regional Advisory Board.
Maria is married to Bob, and they have 2 young daughters, age 11 and 6. The family resides in Central London.