The acronym CCO in a PR context typically means chief communications officer, but Blair Taylor at Starbucks is blazing a trail with a new definition of CCO: chief community officer.
This wide-ranging role reports directly to CEO Howard Schultz and encompasses culture, community, philanthropy, ethical sourcing, government relations, diversity, and global responsibility.
Formerly president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, Taylor joined Starbucks in July last year and quickly made an impression, with leadership of HR added to his remit in February. His pedigree stretches across brand marketing, strategy, and sales, including stints at PepsiCo and IBM.
Schultz has long pioneered a philosophy of balancing profit with social good. Taylor's role is an extension of that and includes growing ethical supply chain initiatives, investing in US manufacturing jobs, and a skills, apprenticeship, and leadership fund. He plans to take previous Starbucks successes to another level, such as developing more stores in inner-city areas that put profits back into community initiatives.