Starbucks Names Hyatt’s Pat Grismer as CFO

The veteran finance executive has extensive restaurant experience, including nearly four years as CFO at Yum Brands.
Matthew HellerOctober 8, 2018
Starbucks Names Hyatt’s Pat Grismer as CFO

Starbucks has hired Patrick Grismer, a finance executive with extensive restaurant industry experience, as its new CFO, replacing Scott Maw.

Grismer will join the coffee giant from Hyatt Hotels, where he has served as CFO since March 2016. He was also previously finance chief at Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.

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Maw had announced in June he would retire after four years as Starbucks’ CFO. As Reuters reports, the company is undergoing a corporate overhaul amid heavy competition from rivals, including high-end coffee shops and affordable fast-food chains.

“As a seasoned CFO of multiple global, consumer-facing growth companies, Pat brings tremendous finance expertise, a customer-centric mindset, and a wealth of restaurant industry experience to Starbucks,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a news release.

“Pat will be a fantastic addition to the team, and I look forward to partnering with him as we continue to execute against our strategic priorities and drive strong financial performance,” he added.

Pat Grismer

According to his LinkedIn bio, Grismer has been a finance executive for almost 30 years, starting out as CFO at Ride & Show Engineering in May 1989. He spent 10 years at Walt Disney before joining Taco Bell as senior director of finance in 2002.

Cowen analysts noted that Yum’s stock price was stagnant during his tenure at CFO from May 2012 to February 2016. “We know Mr. Grismer from his time serving as Yum CFO … and have mixed feelings about his [Starbucks] appointment,” they said.

But they added that his tenure at Hyatt has been more fruitful, with total shareholder returns rising 58%.

Starbucks shares are down 3% from the beginning of 2018 and the company disappointed investors in June when it announced it expected to open fewer stores in the United States in the next fiscal year. Grismer will assume the CFO role on Nov. 30.

“I have always admired the Starbucks brand and values, and I look forward to working with Kevin and the leadership team to help lead the company into its next phase of growth,” he said.

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