I was intrigued by the brief discussion we had in class about New York being the first city in which a mayor has hired a Chief Digital Officer and I was curious about popular companies that may be using a similar model. On March 9th of this year, Starbucks announced that they have promoted two senior leaders, Adam Brotman and Curt Garner who will carry the titles of Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer respectively. Brotman will report directly to President and CEO, Howard Schultz. The plan is for Brotman to expand their business though digital means including web, mobile, social media, card, loyalty, e-commerce, Wi-Fi, and the Starbucks Digital Network.
Not only is the new position of Chief Digital Officer an important business strategy for increasing consumer awareness as well as overall sales, it was very wise to utilize these two individuals who were given the promotions. Considering the fact that marketing through use of digital tools is such an important and worthwhile strategy, I believe it makes great sense that Starbucks promoted from within the company rather than hiring people from the outside to jumpstart the initiative. Brotman and Garner each have several years experience with the company. By promoting from within, the chances of Brotman and Garner capturing and effectively displaying the essence of the company through digital and social media are much higher than someone without any Starbucks corporate experience.
My questions to the class are as follows:
This announcement came just a couple of weeks ago. Is Starbucks late in creating a Chief Digital Officer position? Can we speculate on why it took them so long to do so?
Does anyone know if Starbucks’ competitors have instituted the same strategy and when they may have done so?
How will this increase revenue for the company? Can we expect a fast and drastic increase or will the effects of the strategy be more modest and occur over a relatively long period of time?