Leo Tsoi is the chief operating officer of Starbucks China, leading the company’s critical functions, including retail operations, store development, marketing and category, supply chain, partner (employee) resources and finance, across more than 2,500 stores in over 118 Chinese cities. China is Starbucks largest international market and it represents the most significant and exciting opportunity for the company.
As Starbucks China’s first coo, Leo is spearheading Starbucks continued commitment to scale and deepen the Starbucks store footprint, transform and implement key operational systems, and evolve the food business to elevate the distinctive Starbucks Experience in China. Starbucks aims to double its scale in China to operate 5,000 stores by 2021.
Since rejoining Starbucks in 2012 (he first joined the company as a marketing manager at the Starbucks Asia Pacific Support Center in 2001) Leo has led several key areas of the China business and contributed to Starbucks coffee leadership position in the market. In 2012 he served as vice president, Operations, North China, pioneering new store concepts, including the first food test store and the first Coffee Master store, and working closely with Store Design teams to successfully open China’s first two flagship stores in Beijing. In August 2014, Leo became chief marketing officer, leading brand marketing, product innovation, China’s digital ventures infrastructure, and establishing the foundation for food transformation. Most recently, during his 13 months as vice president, Store Development and Design, Leo and his team accelerated Starbucks store growth to open 550 new stores, including flagship stores and high profile coffee-forward stores that highlight the company’s premium small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees.
Leo has more than two decades of management, business operations and brand experience. He spent nine years with PepsiCo China, holding numerous senior executive positions including Vice-President of Marketing in PepsiCo Foods (2008 – 2009), where he evolved its Lay’s and Cheetos model and re-launched the Quaker and Doritos portfolio. He also served as the Vice-President, East Area, PepsiCo China Beverages, and General Manager of Shanghai Pepsi Cola Ltd, where he led the region of 5,000 employees. In 2007, as Marketing Director, Colas, Leo led Pepsi Cola’s multi-year “Pepsi Red Can Campaign,” which was awarded Asia’s Best Innovation Award by Digital Media Magazine. Leo also spent six years at Procter and Gamble as a Brand Manager between 1995 to 2001.
Leo graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a B.A. in business administration. When he is not enjoying a Starbucks Reserve coffee brewed using a Chemex, he can be found running in one of Shanghai’s numerous city parks or trekking across some of China’s most scenic destinations.