Are you angling for the C-suite? Work for Starbucks

• Starbucks is a hotbed for corporate talent.
• Recruiters say the company grooms leadership well due to being ahead of the curve most of the time.
• Many former workers at Starbucks are now key players at other companies, including JP Morgan Chase, Walgreens, and more.

Recruiters are visiting Starbucks for more than its coffee.

In the past year, the coffee chain has announced a slew of departures at the executive level. Bloomberg has reported that corporate recruiters have quickly learned to look at Starbucks when they want talent to fill the C-suites — and Starbucks is fine with that.

“We are growing and developing leaders for the world,” Angela Lis, Starbucks chief partner officer and executive vice president, told the outlet. “That is actually a goal for us.”

According to recruiters, one of Starbucks’ most effective ways in developing talent is how the company rotates executives around. Adam Parker, a recruiter at Stanton Chase, a multinational executive search and consulting firm, said that employees at Starbucks can work in various sectors, like finance, operations, or international gigs — and that experience is valuable.

Additionally, Starbucks’ culture also attracts others, Bloomberg noted. The company was ahead of the curve when it decided to shut down many of its stores for an afternoon of discrimination training in 2018, some two years before other companies started addressing racial discrimination in the workplace in 2020.

“Experience in a company that does seem to get the culture piece right more often perhaps than others historically is something that companies are keen to learn from,” Parker said.

Where Starbucks’ top talent now works

Starbucks has a motto that encourages its employees to “think beyond the bottom line.” When a new hire can’t align with that vision, they don’t typically last long at the company, Lis said.

Earlier this year, the company’s chief operating officer, Rosalind Brewer, left Starbucks to lead the pharmacy chain Walgreens. Brewer is considered one of the most powerful women in business, thanks to the way she cultivated Starbucks’ digital renaissance.

Her exit followed chief financial officer Pat Grismer’s retirement announcement in January. Starbucks named Rachel Ruggeri, who had left the company in 2018 before returning as its senior vice president of finance for its Americans division, as Grismer’s successor.

According to the report, many top companies’ greatest minds come from the coffee chain:

JPMorgan Chase & Co.: Leanne Fremar, chief brand officer

  • She was poached from Starbucks in 2018 after serving as the company’s executive creative director for two years.

Clorox Co.: Tony Matta, chief growth officer

  • Matta joined Clorox in October 2020. He joined after serving as president of Nestle Coffee Partners, but worked for Starbucks in the past.

Pinterest: Christine Deputy, chief people officer

  • Hired in May, Deputy was working at Nordstrom but spent more than 11 years working at Starbucks before leaving for Dunkin’ Brands in 2009, according to her LinkedIn profile.