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Sweetgreen has hired an other executive from Starbucks to be its COO.

Sweetgreen names former Starbucks executive Rossann Williams as chief operating officer

The Los Angeles-based salad restaurant hired Williams to oversee operations, real estate and development, and supply chain

Los Angeles-based fast-casual salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen announced the appointment of Rossann Williams as its new chief operating officer on Friday.

Williams most recently spent 18 years at Starbucks, where she was EVP and president of North America retail. She left the role in June 2022 amid rising tensions between the brand, where Williams played a key role in the push against unionization, and its union.

“Williams is an industry veteran with a proven track record in driving sustainable growth of global, iconic brands and leading teams to generate profitability,” Jonathan Neman, CEO and co-founder of Sweetgreen, said in a statement. “Williams complements the existing skills and experience of our leadership team as we pursue our next chapter of growth. It’s clear that she shares our values, and I look forward to partnering with Williams to further our mission of connecting more communities to real food.”

Sweetgreen’s previous COO, Chris Carr, left the position on March 17 of last year for personal reasons. He was also a former Starbucks executive.

While at Starbucks, Williams oversaw a market of approximately 16,000 stores. She’s credited with significantly improving same-store sales, successfully opening thousands of new stores and helping navigate the company through the pandemic. At Starbucks, Williams also served in senior operations roles across North America, eventually rising to SVP, global and Americas operations services.

“I’ve long admired Sweetgreen’s leadership as a founder-led, mission-driven company driving the industry forward. I am deeply aligned with Sweetgreen’s values, people-centric approach and commitment to connect more people to delicious, real food. I’m thrilled to be joining the Sweetgreen team at a moment of significant growth and an incredible opportunity ahead,” said Williams in a release.

Previously, Williams also held leadership roles for several well-known Fortune 500 brands, including Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us.

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