Sweetgreen Welcomes Former Starbucks Executive to C-Suite

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Sweetgreen, the fast-casual healthy eating chain, has appointed Rossann Williams as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). In her role, Williams will oversee operations, real estate and development, and supply chain activities.

With over 18 years of experience at Starbucks, where she served as Executive VP and President of North America Retail until June 2022, Williams brings a wealth of industry knowledge and leadership skills to her new position.

Jonathan Neman, CEO and co-founder of Sweetgreen, expressed his confidence in Williams, stating, “Rossann is an industry veteran with a proven track record in driving sustainable growth of global, iconic brands and leading teams to generate profitability.” He added, “Rossann complements the existing skills and experience of our leadership team as we pursue our next chapter of growth.”

During her tenure at Starbucks, Williams oversaw a market of approximately 16,000 stores, where she played a key role in improving same-store sales, expanding the store footprint, and navigating the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before her time at Starbucks, Williams held leadership roles at well-known Fortune 500 brands such as Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us.

Williams expressed her admiration for Sweetgreen’s mission-driven approach, stating, “I’ve long admired Sweetgreen’s leadership as a founder-led, mission-driven company driving the industry forward.” She added, “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., offering salads and bowls made with organic, regenerative, and locally sourced produce. The company recently made its Pacific Northwest debut in Seattle, with plans to open two additional locations in the city later this year.