Credit: Neil Blumenthal
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Co-Founder + CEO at sweetgreen
We are excited to welcome Neil Blumenthal, co-founder + co-CEO of Warby Parker to sweetgreen’s Board of Directors.
Neil is a mission-driven leader that Nicolas, Nathaniel and I have known and admired for many years. He is a friend and a peer that we are thrilled to work side by side with on the journey ahead. Neil is uniquely positioned to advise us as we build the future of food and retail. Not only does he have strong leadership experience and insight into the retail space, but, more importantly, we have shared beliefs, when it comes to the following:
- Purpose Driven: like SG, social impact is at the core of Warby Parker’s brand and we both believe it’s a non-negotiable for brands of this generation.
- Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: Our culture is our soul and I have always respected Neil for his thoughtful crafting of the Warby culture. We share the core belief that investing and growing people, integrating passion and purpose and having fun is critical to creating a great culture.
- Art + Science: Design, curation, collaboration and storytelling are at the heart of both brands. Warby has balanced this with innovative technology, data science and a lot of analytical rigor. SG at its best is also a beautiful balance of art + science, and together, we are looking forward to pushing the boundaries of both.
- Customer and Brand First: Neil is maniacal about improving and innovating the customer experience regardless of customer channel. I believe that food is following fashion in many ways; going direct to consumers while providing a personalized and emotionally connected retail experience to survive.
- Leaders in Omni-channel Strategy: We believe that tech should enhance experiences instead of replacing human connection. Neil’s team has created digitally enabled stores that acquire customers with direct to consumer e-commerce. This is a great model for the future of retail.
Warby Parker started first as a digital (Direct to Consumer “DTC”) eyeglass company and now has moved into retail creating a beloved brand across the country. We started with restaurants (retail) and over time our business has become more digital and is now going direct to consumer. I believe, together with Neil’s experience, we will continue to strategically position ourselves as the trusted “Real Food Ecosystem”.
Neil is also a great fit for our board because he meets our two criteria, for what I believe, makes a great board member:
- Ability to challenge and give us new perspective
- Uncompromising value system
I want to close with one final thought — I’ve been fortunate enough to create sweetgreen with my two best friends Nicolas + Nathaniel. Neil has done the same with his co-founders Dave, Jeff and Andy. To work with people who you respect and you enjoy has been a privilege that I’ve been fortunate to experience and I look forward to working with a friend like Neil on the next chapter of SG.
Co-Founder + CEO at sweetgreen
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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on April 30, 2018.