The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Announces New President & CEO


As of January 1, 2014, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf-the oldest and largest privately’held specialty premium coffee and tea retailer in the United States-announces the appointment of John Dawson as the brand’s new president and chief executive officer. He replaces Mel Elias, who will assume a position on the board of directors. Between now and January 1, they will work together to ensure a smooth transition. Elias has served as president and CEO since 2008, and has been with the company since the brand opened its first franchise stores in Singapore in 1996.

Dawson comes from Dunkin’ Brands, where he held various positions over the past eight years, most recently serving as the global development officer of Dunkin’ Donuts. In that role, he crafted, implemented, and executed an aggressive growth strategy for Dunkin’ Donuts and led the day-to-day operations of franchising, development, and construction. Prior to joining Dunkin’ Brands, Dawson served as vice president of worldwide restaurant development at McDonald’s Corporation, responsible for setting the strategic direction for McDonald’s global development. He earned a B.A. in both Economics and Political Science from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California and received a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


posted by Sarah McCallum