White says he's proud that Jamba Juice answered President Obama's challenge to hire more young people - by pledging to add 25-hundred jobs company wide - this summer.
In order to move Jamba *forward*, White says he looked to his own past...which included a humble, blue collar upbringing in St. Louis. He is the first member of his family to graduate from college, and before taking over the reins at Jamba Juice White enjoyed successful runs at both at Safeway and Gillette.
Early in his career, white followed the path of so many other black corporate professionals who aspired to be a CEO, which is to say in the mid to late 1980s - there was no clear path and no established career track for someone who looked like him. In fact, to date only a dozen black executives have ever become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Dow asked White when did it become apparent that he could indeed perform as a CEO. White replied, "The first time I saw an African American CEO on the covers of major business magazines, including black enterprise. The first recollection that I have of a significant CEO of a major firm was Ken Chenault at American Express. And that for me was absolutely inspiring and motivating as an executive."
White knows he's in a unique position to allow his own experience - and leadership philosophy...trickle down from the boardroom, to the storeroom. White adds, "I think as an African-American executive, I've played multiple roles. I can influence the organization from the top down, in the boardrooms. So I can influence how we think about our business - and how we problem solve. I think that's a huge benefit. I think the tone that i set at the top transcends what happens all the way down to our stores and how we serve customers, and eventually who we have as our partners."
Venus Williams and her family recently entered in to a joint venture with Jamba to open new stores in the nation's capital. Dow reports that customers are now happy to see more items on the menu to choose from. White wants a multi-cultural service staff to remain a hallmark of the Jamba Juice experience.
And just in case you were wondering - White says he's is a loyal Jamba customer.
For more information, visit www.jambajuice.com.