Sweetgreen hires former Starbucks exec Wouleta Ayele as chief technology officer – Nation’s Restaurant News

Los Angeles-based company Sweetgreen announced Monday the hiring of Wouleta Ayele as the better-for-you fast-casual chain’s chief technology officer, effective Aug. 17. Ayele was formerly a 16-year veteran of Starbucks, where she most recently held the position of senior vice president of technology services.

In her new role, Ayele will help scale Sweetgreen’s supply chain model, advance the company’s restaurant operations, acquire new talent, and help to develop their digital platforms. She replaced Paul Horvath, who has moved on to become the CTO of Beautycounter.

“As we continue to scale and think about what the future of fast food will look like, the technology powering Sweetgreen plays an integral part in creating efficiencies and providing our guests with the best experience possible,” Sweetgreen cofounder and CEO Jonathan Neman said in a statement. “Wouleta has the experience, savviness, and leadership to help us make that vision a reality. We look forward to welcoming her to the team.”

During her 16-year career at Starbucks, Ayele oversaw the chain’s technology pillars. Prior to working at Starbucks, she held leadership positions at Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Attachmate Corporation, and Ciba-Geigy pharmaceutical.

“Sweetgreen is a truly innovative company that is paving the way for a healthier future,” Wouleta said in a statement. “The way that they approach the intersection of food and tech is unlike any other restaurant brand out there. I’m excited and grateful to be joining the Sweetgreen team as they lead the charge of changing the fast-food industry for years to come.”

Sweetgreen currently has 130+ restaurants across the United States.

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