senior vice president, entrepreneur in residence
Richard Tait is senior vice president and entrepreneur in residence for Starbucks. Richard has held the new role since April 2016, helping the company foster a culture of innovation. He applies an entrepreneurial lens to Starbucks operational planning and prioritization efforts across the organization, helping improve the speed and agility of decision-making. He is also helping guide future product development as part of the steering committee for Starbucks Innovation Lab.
Described by GeekWire as “one of the Seattle area’s most accomplished entrepreneurs,” Richard started his career at Microsoft in 1998 where he had 12 startups within the company and pioneered four waves of innovation, spanning everything from operating systems, to corporate solutions, CD ROMs and breakthrough internet applications.
After Microsoft, Richard started Cranium Inc. which became the third largest game company in the world, selling more than 40 million games in 22 countries and winning the Toy Industry Association's "Game of the Year" five years in a row. Cranium was acquired and became part of the Hasbro games family in 2008.
After Cranium, Tait started an innovation lab in Seattle that created a number of startups ranging from organic beverages to high-end consumer products featured in the Apple store. He worked with Starbucks during the company’s transformation, helping guide the evolution of Starbucks food platform in 2008 with the Real Food, Simply Delicious campaign and shaping the health and wellness strategy in 2009 and 2010.
Richard has an MBA from Dartmouth College and an honors degree in computer science from Heriot Watt University in his homeland of Scotland, where he was also recently inducted into the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.
Richard believes in the power of the entrepreneurial spirit, a clear vision, and the passion to succeed. His personal mantra is “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license." His favorite espresso beverage is a quad shot with a splash of water in the morning and a double short Caramel Macchiato in the afternoon.