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Starbucks veteran joins C-suite at Sweegreen


Sweetgreen has appointed a new chief operating officer.

 Rossann Williams will join the fast-casual healthy eating chain's leadership team as COO, effective Feb. 5. She will oversee operations, real estate & development and supply chain activities.

 Williams has spent the previous 18 years with Starbucks, where she most recently served as executive VP and president of North America retail. She left the company in June 2022. 

“Rossann is an industry veteran with a proven track record in driving sustainable growth of global, iconic brands and leading teams to generate profitability,” said Jonathan Neman, CEO and co-founder of Sweetgreen. “Rossann 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 Rossann to further our mission of connecting more communities to real food.”

At Starbucks, Williams oversaw a market of approximately 16,000 stores, where she improved same-store sales, opened thousands of new stores and helped navigate the company through the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Williams held leadership roles for several well-known Fortune 500 brands, including Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us.

“I’ve long admired Sweetgreen’s leadership as a founder-led, mission-driven company driving the industry forward,” said Williams. “I am deeply aligned with Sweetgreen’s values, people-centric approach and commitment to connect more people to delicious, real food.”

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen operates more than 220 restaurants across the U.S., selling salads and bowls that prioritizes organic, regenerative and locally-sourced produce.

Last month, Sweetgreen made its Pacific Northwest debut in Seattle with its first location opening in The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland on Jan. 16. The 2,315-sq.-ft. restaurant can accommodate up to 20 diners inside and 16 diners on the restaurant's patio. Sweetgreen said it will open two more locations in Seattle later this year: one in South Lake Union and another in Capitol Hill.

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