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PCC taps Starbucks' Hardy as new CEO

PCC Natural Markets on Tuesday announced the appointment of Cate Hardy as CEO, effective Jan. 23.

Hardy, who most recently served as VP of operations at Starbucks Coffee, was selected following a national search conducted by PCC’s board of trustees. She succeeds Randy Lee, PCC’s CFO, who was serving as interim CEO since May of last year, following the departure of Tracy Wolpert.

Cate Hardy
Cate Hardy

“We welcome Cate’s experience and leadership at a pivotal time in PCC’s history,” Lee said in a statement. “Her background and values are ideally suited for guiding PCC’s growth in an increasingly competitive environment, and to strengthening PCC’s triple bottom line business approach.”

Hardy was with Starbucks for nine years. In addition to her most recent role, she also held VP roles for global commercialization, customer service, and global store development, as well as director positions in store development and strategy for the Seattle-based coffee company. Prior to Starbucks, Hardy was a VP at Washington Mutual and a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. and Deloitte.

"PCC is recognized and admired in the Pacific Northwest as a natural foods retailer that has achieved continual success through high product standards, sustainable business practices, and putting its community of members, customers, growers, and suppliers first,” said Hardy. “I am thrilled to be joining this regional and industry leader, and look forward to working with PCC’s team of dedicated and talented employees to continue PCC’s record of growth and impact."


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Hardy earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Florida. She serves on the board of Seattle-based FareStart, a culinary training and job placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.

Headquartered in Seattle, PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $230 million and membership of more than 54,000 households and 10 stores around Seattle.

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