Jim Donald, CEO of Extended Stay America hotels, offers advice to business students
The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business hosted Jim Donald’s presentation of “Take the Job No One Wants” on October 3 in the LaRose Digital Theatre.
Donald is the former CEO of Starbucks and Pathmark Supermarkets and current CEO of Extended Stay America Hotel Chain.
Named one of the “Top 25 CEO’s in the World” in 2006 by the Best Practice Institute, Donald earned a reputation for turning around financially ailing companies early in his career. In his presentation to students, faculty and staff, he shared his experience as a leader focusing on innovation, quality, service, strong relationships within the community, and risk taking.
Donald elaborated on six points during his presentation: have a fish story, never be bigger than the front line, go where you’ve never been before, communicate to everyone in the organization, encourage risk taking with the freedom of fail, and celebrate the success of others.
With more than 35 years of experience in the supermarket industry, Donald has served as president and CEO of Pathmark stores, at first, a privately held 143 store chain on the East Coast, which went public in 2000. He also served as a president of Safeway’s Eastern Division. Donald was handpicked by Sam Walton, Wal-Mart’s founder, to serve as vice president of merchandising at Wal-Mart’s Supercenters.
Donald also served at Starbucks Corporation from 2002-08, first as president of Starbucks North America and then as president and CEO of Starbucks from 2005-08.