Starbucks Names Matthew Ryan Global Chief Strategy Officer

Starbucks Coffee Co. recently announced that it has appointed Matthew Ryan as global chief strategy officer. Ryan was previously senior vice president of global brand, franchise and customer relationship management for The Walt Disney Co.

“The Starbucks Experience is built on our partners’ (employees) passion for creating meaningful moments of connection more than 70 million times every week and our company’s devotion to continuously innovating new choices and experiences that surprise and delight our customers at every interaction,” said Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz, in a prepared statement. “Matt’s innovative approach to customer analytics, market segmentation and brand optimization will bring a new level of insight and imagination to Starbucks and our significant brand ambitions.”

Ryan will report to Schultz and serve on Starbucks senior leadership team. He will lead Starbucks long-term strategic planning process; improve the monetization of Starbucks retail, channel and emerging brands; and strengthen the company’s fast-growing customer relationship management and loyalty capabilities. Starbucks global customer insights and strategy teams will report to Ryan.

Starbucks new chief strategy officer will also serve on the company’s Global Brand Leadership Team responsible for integrating the company’s regional brand and marketing initiatives. Ryan will partner with Starbucks recently appointed global chief marketing officer, Sharon Rothstein, to bring enhanced customer insights and analytics to the company’s brand expression and customer experience.

“To be a great and enduring brand, you must know your customers and they must know you; and Starbucks, like Disney, is one of the few companies in the world that has truly authentic connections with their customers that stand the test of time,” said Ryan. “Starbucks is building one of the most admired, important and exciting brands of the 21st Century and I couldn’t be more humbled and energized about the opportunity to help navigate and accelerate the game-changing journey they have already begun.”

As senior vice president, brand, franchise and customer relationship management since 2000, Ryan has led the stewardship and development of Disney’s global brand equity across the company. In this role he provided consumer input into the company’s long-term strategic planning, oversaw the development and cultivation of character franchises, and led development of cross-divisional customer relationship management programs, including the Disney Rewards Visa card. Prior to joining Disney in 1998, Ryan held senior strategic planning roles with several national and international advertising agencies.

Ryan graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in history and literature. He will start in May and will be based in Seattle, Wash. at the Starbucks Support Center.

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