Updated with statements from J. Crew and Brotman.
Adam Brotman, who led Starbucks digital business, including its Mobile Order and Pay initiative and in-store Wi-Fi efforts, is leaving the coffee retailer to try his hand in the apparel business.
The Seattle native, who prior to joining Starbucks in 2009 worked at Corbis and PlayNetwork, recently joined J. Crew to help lead the struggling company’s business as president and chief experience officer. J. Crew’s same store sales declined nine percent during the third quarter of 2017, and its net loss ballooned to $17.6 million for that period. The retailer, which is owned by private equity firm TPG, also approached Amazon about buying J. Crew.
“Adam’s experience with global field operations and cutting edge consumer-facing digital platforms makes him an invaluable partner in shaping and driving J.Crew Group’s strategic initiatives to the next level,” said J. Crew CEO Jim Brett in a statement. “Adam will help us establish customer relationships that leverage all our channels, helping us to serve them in ways that are more meaningful and relevant to how they shop and live.”
Brotman said in a statement, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with Jim and the team on taking what is already an iconic brand and helping to build world-class customer experiences across every touch point, whether technology or digital platforms, in-store, or at the intersection of both.”
He will relocate from Seattle to New York to take the new job.
Brotman served as chief digital officer at Starbucks for a number of years, and more recently took on the role of vice president of global retail operation and partner digital engagement. Starbucks is perceived as one of the most forward-looking companies when it comes to the use of technology in its operations.
At the GeekWire Summit last year, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson — a former Microsoft executive — explained how the company fuses technology and retail.
“One, you must be focused on experiential retail that creates an experience in your store that becomes a destination for the customer,” Johnson explained. “And number two, you have to extend that experience from brick-and-mortar to a digital-mobile relationship. So our approach to this is investing in elevating the experience we create in our stores, and investing in the digital-mobile connection we have with our customers.”