Howard Behar on the Secret of Starbucks’ Success
Building pride and service into corporate culture.
March 28, 2008
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After a working life spent building Starbucks from a chain of 28 stores to an international coffee business through positions such as executive vice president of sales, founding president of Starbucks International and president of Starbucks North America, Howard Behar
tells of the strategies he used to establish the business into the success it is today. Following the release of his book It's Not About the Coffee
, Behar shares the soft skills that helped to construct the company from a regional outlet to a corporation with international reach.Howard Behar is the former president of Starbucks Coffee Company North America and Starbucks Coffee International. He joined Starbucks in 1989 when the company had just begun to venture outside the Northwest region. Initially serving as vice president of sales and operations, he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 stores by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Under Behar's leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Following this historic opening, over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as President of Starbucks North America until his retirement in January 2003. He has been a director of the Company since 1996.
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