23 Jan 2017
The CEO Who is Perking Up Peet’s CoffeeTopics:
Photo by Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group
In a profile of Peet’s Coffee CEO David Burwick (MBA 1989), the East Bay Times details the company’s growth under his watch: Since 2013, annual sales have jumped from $395 million to almost $800 million, 70 new locations have been added, and the company began selling its wares to grocery stores and offices. Burwick managed all of this, the article notes, while guiding the company through a transition from public entity to private ownership.
Before joining Peet’s, Burwick worked at PepsiCo and as president of Weight Watchers North America. The Times notes the challenge of the transition:
Although he had led major divisions of large companies, this was the first time Burwick, now 55, would be CEO. Started by Alfred Peet in 1966 in Berkeley, Peet’s has been a popular Bay Area company with a strong brand, said director of brand marketing Andrea Fernandes.
“Some leaders want to come in and change everything,” Fernandes said, but maintaining the standards set by Peet’s founder, which include careful coffee sourcing and hand-roasting, has been important to keeping the brand popular among its longtime Bay Area following and bringing in new customers as it expands across the country.
The piece goes on to detail some of Burwick’s recent moves, including a new $58 million roasting facility, acquisition of smaller coffee roastersto build capacity, and pushing sales to retailers. The Times notes that the company’s geography helps, too.
The company also has the advantage of being in the Bay Area — ground zero for the growth of the coffee industry and an exciting place to do business, he said.
“It’s inspiring to work in the same community as tech companies and others and (to see) competitors and people who are blazing the trail because it forces you to do the same thing,” Burwick said.
Class of MBA 1989, Section C