Why this former Starbucks executive quit his job as CEO to launch a startup

As a teenager, former Starbucks executive Adam Brotman was inspired by the unlikely location of a Costco parking lot. In 1982, his uncle Jeff Brotman co-founded a large retail chain with James Cinegal. And when Brotman was 16, he was hired to organize his shopping cart in the first place in Seattle.

Brotman, who would later take on top leadership roles at Starbucks and J. Crew, acknowledges his first job to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit that led him to business.

“Even when I was pushing the cart out in the rain, I saw my uncle and Jim build this iconic company up close and set a high standard of success,” said the 52-year-old. say. CNBC Make It.. “It created an opening on how I see success.”

Seattle’s indigenous people began their career as a lawyer, but at the age of 27 they quit their lawyer and started the in-store entertainment service company PlayNetwork. After working several times at other companies, Brotman joined Starbucks in 2009.

What he learned from working at Starbucks

If you’ve used Starbucks points to get free latte or have ordered in the app, you can thank Brotman. As Starbucks Chief Digital Officer and EVP of Global Retail, he spent nearly a decade building reward programs and digital platforms.

The Starbucks app is considered the gold standard for franchises. As of April, mobile transactions are configured 25% or more Of all Starbucks orders in the United States. However, Brotman did not launch the app as the final project completed. First, Starbucks launched loyalty and payment features, and then added features for ordering and marketing. “This app wasn’t successful overnight,” he said. “We were constantly improving and changing things based on customer feedback.”

According to Brotman, building mobile ordering capabilities was the “most complex” part of app creation, involving several large teams in marketing, payment strategies, operations, and more. Through that process, Brotman learned the importance of coordinating with common goals, collaborating more smoothly, and developing creative tactics to solve problems.

“There was a windowless conference room behind my office in Starbucks. I asked the maintenance staff if all the walls could be painted with whiteboard material,” he recalls. “Every week, all the teams got together in the war room and covered every corner of the room with ideas to improve the app.”

“I have decided it’s time to stretch myself.”

By maintaining his role at Starbucks or pursuing a similar job at another Fortune 500 company, Brotman is expected to further develop his success at Starbucks. Instead, he left Starbucks in 2018 to join J.Crew, where he was president and co-CEO. This is not a love for fashion, but a leap to New York, the company’s home.

“My wife and I have always wanted to live in New York, the” center of the universe, “” he says. “I decided it was time to stretch myself a little by putting myself in an unpleasant and new situation, and I was excited to apply some of the lessons learned at Starbucks to another iconic American brand.”

Brotman spent a year in J. Crew to launch the brand’s loyalty program, hoping to recreate some of the digital innovations he brought to Starbucks.He wanted to create a branded mobile app and improve its personalized marketing, he says. These projects are “not prioritized” by the team. After that, Brotman received a revelation. Many companies didn’t leverage data in a way that Starbucks personalized marketing and user experience and strengthened customer relationships.

Returning to Seattle, start-ups

Homesick in Seattle, Brotman, hoping to become an entrepreneur again, returned to Washington. It was there that Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson introduced John Schulkin, chairman of Eza, a fully automated fast food chain in California. The pair wanted to transform a struggling start-up into a software platform that would help other consumer brands, restaurants and retail chains digitize their businesses.

Johnson and several venture capital sponsors have hired Brotman to lead the company’s reopening. Bright room.. In 2019, Brotman will become CEO of a Seattle-based (and Starbucks-backed) start-up, and he and his team will use tools such as digital ordering and personalized marketing for small businesses. We are building useful software. Starbucks has also licensed mobile and loyalty program technology to Brightloom, making it available to customers for their business.

The challenge of running a startup was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. When Brightroom’s office lease expired at the beginning of the crisis, Brotman decided that he and his 51 employees needed to switch to permanent remote work.

Brightroom’s business was also backed by a pandemic, as most businesses had to go online to connect with their customers. “This makes companies more urgent to find ways to improve their digital relationships with their customers,” Brotman adds.according to Crunchbase, Brightloom has raised over $ 45 million.

The move from working for some of the world’s most famous brands, C-Suite, to leading a small, relatively unknown startup is surprising, to say the least. But as he climbed the corporate ladder, Brotman realized that happiness and career enrichment did not match the traditional definition of success for him.

“Even when I was a teenager, I’ve always got so much energy from trying to solve problems and build something new. That’s all about startups,” he said. say. “It’s so encouraging to me that I can even forget the existential anxiety of working at a startup.”

Of course, taking a risk and changing jobs can be far more frightening if you’re not in Brotman’s position and don’t have millions of dollars in financial support, or if Starbucks and Costco leaders are mentors. But the CEO wants to be able to encourage others to be a little bold in their careers.

“Think of professional tennis players. To be the best, they need to master serve, backhand, forehand, and net play,” he says. “Start with the ultimate goal in mind, then break the craft into its components … and make sure you have the intellectual curiosity and commitment to each step in the learning process.”

check out:

The 31-year-old start-up has valued $ 200 to over $ 6 billion in just six years.

You’re drinking coffee by mistake — these three tricks can increase your productivity, experts say

The 26-year-old found out how much his colleagues were earning and negotiated a salary of $ 120,000. Method is as follows.

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

Why this former Starbucks executive quit his job as CEO to launch a startup

Source link Why this former Starbucks executive quit his job as CEO to launch a startup

Back to top button