Over the years, how many times have you as a leader recognized key team members for exceptional work? I am sure that your answer goes something like mine would….” as many times as I can.” Well, I have just been involved in a major project at work, our acquisition of the Evolution Fresh juice business from Starbucks (press release below) and I am learning once again that leaders can never say thank you enough for the truly heroic work of their teams.
Across my career I have now been involved in a number of M&A events, but this is the first one that I personally lead. I knew it was going to be a major piece of work coordinating the “carveout” of this business unit out of the Starbucks corporate structure, but I had NO IDEA just how much work it would actually take for the Bolthouse Farms team and the Evolution Fresh team (and the Starbucks corporate team, equity partners and so many others) to bring the process to a successful close (that happened on 8/1/22!!!) and to ensure the uninterrupted continued operations of a very successful business at Evolution Fresh. The work has been incredible, and the what’s most notable is that the work of the teams ALL ACROSS THE BOARD has been exceptional and inspiring.
I can tell stories of team members working through multiple nights to get major IT roadblocks handled…. or others in HR who worked shift after shift to ensure that the frontline team members could do their jobs and get back to work just minutes after closing, or finance team members who checked every single payroll record to make sure we could have a successful payroll run after week one, or legal team members who oversaw EVERY detail of the required work and are still overseeing the details of TSA agreements and requirements, or operations team members who reorganized the production planning schedule to ensure high customer service levels in the midst of the ownership transition… and the list could literally go on for pages! As the leader of this initiative, I am blown away and truly humbled by the quality of the work and the success of the outcome all across the board and as I commented above, I can never say thank you enough!
Now a moment of perspective… as a 60 yr old with over 37 years in business, I have the awareness that I am in the closing chapters of my professional career (duh!) and don’t have too many more events/projects/deals like this left. It is in this context that I am even more appreciative of the incredible work of the teams across the companies. I have found inspiration and energy from the exceptional work of so many and at this place in my career, that’s pretty incredible!
All I have left to say….. is thank you!