Trailblazer: Kelly Bengston, Starbucks CPO & SVP

Kelly Bengston, Starbucks SVP, CPO, Global Sourcing, a problem solver, focused on delivering solutions

Job Title: Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Global Sourcing

Company: Starbucks

Position in Supply Chain Digital’s Top 100 Leaders: #2

Favourite Starbucks drink: Nitro Cold Brew

Joined Starbucks: 2010

Became Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Global Sourcing: 2018

Favourite things to do outside of work: running, travelling, and spending time with her family


Proud to have held the role of Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer and Global Sourcing of Starbucks since 2018, Kelly Bengston is responsible for enhancing Starbucks enterprise-wide functional strategic sourcing and supplier relationships, creating global processes, developing a talent management program and building a values-based approach to work with suppliers.

The team she works with was formed under her leadership to support the company’s supply chain aspirations of becoming digitalised, strategically aligning resources against priorities, and building capabilities with long-term capacity planning and supply chain intelligence.

“I am fortunate to have an amazing job, working for an amazing company.  My day-to-day is filled with connecting with great partners and suppliers to deliver products and services to our stores and customers,” said Bengston.  

However, This isn’t where Bengston’s Career at Starbucks began. She first joined 11 years ago in 2010 in Supply Chain Commercialisation. In her time at Starbucks, Bengston has held numerous leadership roles including direct and indirect sourcing, store development, and commercialisation.

Prior to Startbucks, Bengston worked for the likes of  Macy’s, Bensussen Deutsch, and Cranium and Hasbro gaining experience in packaging, product development and management, and manufacturing.  

Working for more than 20 years in supply chain and procurement industries, Bengston expresses her passion for the industry, wishing that people fully appreciated that sourcing professionals are problem solvers focused on delivering solutions.

“The work is really fun! [...] We get a reputation for only thinking of cost, but cost is just one small part of what we negotiate on behalf of our companies,” said Bengston

Holding a B.S. in Management from Central Washington University, Bengston gives back to the university serving on its foundation board and chairing the board development committee. 

“I love to say that sourcing found me. My education is in management and my intent was to have a career in retail and store operations (which I did for a while). I was given the opportunity to begin getting involved in product development and factory management and never looked backed. Sourcing allows me to be creative, work with interesting people and solve problems,” said Bengston.

Bengston attributes her success in her career so far to her ability to create flexible, high-functioning, and creative teams to unlock value through relationships, cross-functional collaboration, autonomy, and supply chain management excellence. 

“My career has had many high points, some lows and some flat moments and that is what has made it interesting,” said Bengston when reflecting on her career journey. 

If she could speak to her younger self, her advice would be, “to always follow your passion and don’t be afraid to take a risk. Every ‘risky’ position I have had has grown and developed me into who I am today.”

To read the Supply Chain Digital, Top 100 Leaders where Kelly Bengston features at number two, click here.


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