How Starbucks Has Gone Digital

Interview with Adam Brotman and Curt Garner (Starbucks)
Starbucks Coffee Company has become almost as well known for its free Wi-Fi as for its coffee. The $13.3 billion company provides a model of melding a physical retail operation with digital channels. It has more than 34 million Facebook likes and more than 3.6 million Twitter followers, and does well at using social media and mobile technology to build better relationships with its customers. It is also in the vanguard of companies with a chief digital officer, having named Adam Brotman (@adambrotman) to that post in March 2012. Brotman, 43, had joined Starbucks in 2009 as vice president of digital ventures and now has a team of 110 under him. He works closely with Curt Garner, 43, a 15-year company veteran who became CIO in March 2012, running a department of 760. Brotman and Garner spoke with MIT Sloan Management Review contributing editor Michael Fitzgerald about their relationship and how they’ve helped remake Starbucks into a digital company.