Doug Rauch

The Joys of Conscious Capitalism: Build Stronger Businesses and Improve Society

Doug Rauch spent 31 years with Trader Joe’s, the last 14 years as president, growing the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. How did Trader Joe’s, a company that started as a 7-Elevan knockoff, become the hottest retailer in America? The answer lies in its innovation. Rauch developed the company’s prized buying philosophy, created its unique private label food program, and wrote and executed the business plan for expanding Trader Joe’s nationwide. He also championed the development and execution of Trader Joe’s University and its prized customer experience orientation.

Through his experience Trader Joe’s, Rauch has learned to be a master of innovation. In multimedia presentations filled with great stories and eye-opening case studies, he shares ways to create a self-sustaining culture of innovation, build a brand in a competitive marketplace, and lead with a purpose.

Rauch retired from Trader Joe’s in 2008. He is currently CEO and co-chairman of Conscious Capitalism, which looks at how four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture—can simultaneously build stronger businesses and improve society as a whole.

He was also a recent senior fellow at the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, where he focused on the challenges of food waste, hunger, and obesity. Following this fellowship he became the founder/president of Daily Table, a unique, nonprofit retail concept designed to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities. About 40 percent of our food just gets thrown out, and up to 90 percent of that loss is due to confusion over expiration dates or cosmetic blemishes. By recovering the excess, wholesome food about to be disposed by grocers and food service, Rauch has developed an innovative way to provide both grab-n-go meals and basic groceries at pennies on the dollar.