Doug Rauch

Former President of Trader Joe’s
  • Grew Trader Joe’s from a small local chain to a nationwide powerhouse
  • Expert on marketing innovation and crafting singular corporate cultures
  • Shares important tenets of value-based leadership used to develop a commercially successful and ethically responsible business

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Doug Rauch spent 31 years with Trader Joe’s Company, the last 14 years as a president, growing the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California to a nationally-acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. How did Trader Joe’s, a company that started as a 7/11 knockoff, become the hottest retailer in America? The answer lies in its innovation. Rauch developed the company’s prized buying philosophy, created its unique private label food program, and wrote and executed the business plan for expanding Trader Joe’s nationally. He also championed the development and execution of Trader Joe’s University and the prized customer experience orientation. He is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

Through his experience at the popular grocer and Daily Table (where he developed an innovative way to provide both grab-n-go meals and basic groceries at pennies on the dollar), Rauch has learned to be a master of innovation. In multimedia presentations filled with great stories and eye-opening case studies, he shares how to create a self-sustaining culture of innovation, build a brand in a competitive marketplace, and lead with a purpose.

An Innovative Solution To The Hunger Problem. Rauch retired from Trader Joe’s in 2008. He is currently CEO and co-chairman of Conscious Capitalism, which looks at how four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture—can simultaneously build stronger businesses and improve society as a whole.

He was also a recent senior fellow at the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, where he focused on the challenges of food waste, hunger, and obesity. Out of this fellowship he became the founder/president of Daily Table, a unique, nonprofit retail concept designed to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities. About 40 percent of our food just gets thrown out, and up to 90 percent of that loss is due to confusion over expiration dates or cosmetic blemishes. By recovering the excess, wholesome food about to be disposed by grocers and food service, Rauch has developed an innovative way to provide both grab-n-go meals and basic groceries at pennies on the dollar.

More About Doug Rauch. He received his executive MBA from the Peter Drucker School of Management, Claremont University, where he won several honorary awards including the Early Career Outstanding Entrepreneur Award. Rauch is also a trustee at Olin College, chairs the board of overseers at WBUR, and serves on the board of several for-profit and non-profit companies.

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Speaker Video

Doug Rauch: Culture Is Your Company's DNA

The Importance of Company Culture

Leadership, Innovation, and Culture

Conscious Capitalism & Values-Based Leadership. Doug Rauch is a leader in the conscious capitalism movement, which looks at how four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture—can build stronger businesses. He shares stories and case studies about how businesses need to focus on their purpose and leave profit as a result of good business practicesnot a goal. Harnessing this higher state of business consciousness also reveals new synergies and leads to innovation that improves both companies and society as a whole. Rauch offers a bold defense of capitalism and a blueprint for a new system of doing business grounded in a more evolved ethical consciousness, paving a way for individuals and companies to build a more cooperative, humane, and positive future.

Creating A Culture of Innovation. How did Trader Joe’s, a company that started as a 7/11 knockoff, become the hottest retailer in America? Through his experience at the popular grocer and Daily Table (where he developed an innovative way to provide both grab-n-go meals and basic groceries at pennies on the dollar), Rauch has learned to be a master of innovation. With the mantra “innovate or die,” he shows organizations how to consistently push for new and better ways to perform. The most important first step is instilling a culture of innovation. Rauch believes that culture is an organization’s DNAthe only thing a company has that can’t be copied or stolen and the most important factor in whether it can successfully innovate and lead change. In a multimedia presentation filled with great stories and case studies, Rauch shares how to create a self-sustaining culture of innovation that embraces failure and constantly pushes the envelope forward.

Building A Brand In A Top Marketplace. Rauch was instrumental in growing Trader Joe’s from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California to a nationally-acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. In an energetic presentation filled with eye-opening case studies, he shows organizations how to focus their efforts on their core competencies in order to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

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