Donald Leaves Pathmark for a Coffee Break

Oct 17, 2002

Reuters reports that Jim Donald, chairman, president and chief executive of Pathmark, has resigned to become president of Starbucks’ North American division.

Pathmark named Eileen Scott, executive vice president, as its new chief executive. The president position is now being handled by the grocery retailer’s chief financial officer, Frank Vitrano. Steven Volla of the company’s board of directors will become nonexecutive chairman.

Moderator’s Comment: Two Questions:

  1. What impact will Jim Donald’s leaving have on Pathmark?

  2. What affect will his experience and management style
    bring to Starbucks?

Jim Donald leaves his namesake fried chicken behind at
Pathmark to head to Starbucks and latte land. Mr. Donald, in general, was given
high marks for getting Pathmark turned around from its Chapter 11 lows. His
leaving hurts but we have heard good things about Eileen Scott and Frank Vitrano
so the chain should not lose ground in its marketing area.

Starbucks gets a strong executive leader and someone who
understands food distribution. Based on the coffee chain’s lack of success on
the food side of the business, this seems a good match. Starbucks and Mr. Donald
obviously believe it is. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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