Troy Alstead has been with Starbucks for 23 years.

SEATTLE — Troy Alstead, a 23-year veteran of the Starbucks Coffee Co., has announced he is taking an extended unpaid leave from the company. His last day in his current role as chief operating officer will be March 1.

Mr. Alstead joined Starbucks in January 1992 when it was a privately held company with just over 100 stores. Over the years, he has held numerous roles in finance and general management for Starbucks, both domestic and international. He has held finance positions of increasing responsibility, including leadership of the corporate finance, accounting, tax and treasury functions, as well as leadership of global financial management, decision support, planning and business development for Starbucks operating units around the world.

He is one of the original members of the Starbucks International team, contributing to the development of the international business from the beginning. Beyond his finance roles, he led the operations and development of the international business as senior vice-president for Starbucks Coffee International, and later he led the company’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa as interim president of that regional business unit. He later held the position of chief operating officer, Starbucks Greater China.

“Looking back on the 23 years we spent together side-by-side as Starbucks colleagues, I can recall so many memorable moments and accomplishments in which Troy can take pride in a job well done,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Troy is a beloved Starbucks partner and has played an invaluable role in our growth as an enterprise and in the development of our culture as a performance driven company balanced with a humanity unique for our industry. Troy’s humanity and humility will be missed and we wish him the best.”

Mr. Alstead and Mr. Schultz will detail further transition plans on the company’s first-quarter earnings call Jan. 22.