Oregon Business enterprise – New Dutch Bros CTO Talks Organization Expansion

Leigh Gower talks about the purpose technological know-how will perform as the freshly-public espresso organization expands


On Dec. 1, Leigh Gower grew to become Dutch Bros Coffee’s to start with chief technological innovation officer. The announcement came less than three months just after the enterprise unveiled an IPO on the New York Stock Trade.

As the Dutch Bros expands to new markets, Gower suggests her position at the organization is to use know-how in a way that boosts the consumer and staff working experience and provide the exact same organization tradition no make any difference where by the Dutch Bros expands.

Ideal in advance of stepping into her part at Dutch Bros, Gower did a 13-month stint as know-how vice president at on the net jewelry retailer Blue Nile. Prior to that, Gower served as senior director of solution & technological innovation at T-Cellular, and as a management guide at Slalom Consulting.



Gower spoke with Oregon Organization about her new role, how tech fits into the company’s designs for enlargement — and how Dutch Bros can shield its customer and worker facts towards cybercrime. 

This interview has been edited for duration and clarity. “Broistas” is not a typo. 

Your position was developed shortly just after Dutch Bros launched its IPO. As Dutch Bros’ 1st CTO, what will be your role as the corporation expands? 

You just cannot go general public as a corporation except engineering is at the main of what you are carrying out. 

As we foresee our expansion heading forward, technology needs to play a greater purpose to ensure encounters are frictionless and interaction is seamless. What I am chartered with is defending and preserving our lifestyle as we get more substantial, and developing our technological innovation ecosystem about our staff. 

A cornerstone of our society is that we like to have entertaining. When you arrive to a store there is audio actively playing and the broistas essentially occur up to you, speak to you, and talk to you about your working day. What we’ve identified is that the reason a large amount of men and women arrive back again to Dutch Bros is since of the opportunity to interact with our broistas. 



What position does know-how enjoy?

It’s my task to empower our team users to do what they do finest. You will find technology in the shop that we can make much more successful and automate in that small place so our team customers can commit additional time focusing on the consumer. 

There’s also technology in HR that personnel use to take care of their benefits and their firm info. All of these items can be made to have a lot less friction for the conclude-consumer.

If you’ve at any time been an Apple consumer, they are incredibly good at the interface and how to use applications so you can do no matter what it is you want to do. They truly nail the simplistic stop-consumer encounter. You switch from that to Android or Windows and you struggle. 

We want to leverage technological know-how whenever possible, but do so in a way that it is by no means laborious for our end-consumer. 



How has Dutch Bros grown technologically through the pandemic, and where by do you see the business innovating?

The Dutch Bros application is a fantastic instance of how we’ve developed as a firm throughout the pandemic. We went from obtaining a punch card to a electronic remedy. 

There is a laundry listing of innovations we’re hoping to do with the application to increase the richness of the person practical experience. There is a ton in the performs and a good deal of plans. Right after we’ve tested it to see what functions, then we’ll roll it out. 



The final two several years have shown providers will have to offer with the raising threat, prevalence and sophistication of cyberattacks and cybercrime. How can Dutch Bros protect its buyer and employee info in opposition to hackers?

It is the two finding out the terrible actors to see what they are carrying out so you can keep a phase forward of them and building guaranteed you usually have great defenses and parameters. At the same time we have to make sure we are not executing that in a way that interferes with the buyer practical experience. 

Each and every time there’s a main incident, corporations are often looking at what was going on at the rear of the scenes. Wherever was the doorway open up that allow the negative actor in? We discover from every incident, but at the very same time we have to innovate and foresee. And that indicates we have to normally be testing ourselves to see where by our vulnerabilities are. 

We have authorities in our department who are regularly hunting at means lousy actors could get in through online ports or any place else. 



There have been numerous experiences of labor shortages throughout the tech sector. How has this impacted you?

When it comes to tech personnel there is a terrific degree of constraint in the labor source. We have to have to be much more thoughtful about being a culture and a area where men and women want to arrive to perform.

Fortunately, we have some genuinely great partners so if we require to go out and build some more potential we really do not essentially have to do that all by ourselves.  



How did you understand you needed to perform with technological innovation? 

I began off on the business enterprise side of issues. I was truly operating closely with technology by e-commerce and e-provider — assisting customers control their individual accounts with out having to speak to a person or simply call. People who wanted to enhance the purchaser encounter had to function more carefully with know-how to carry that engineering to existence. As I moved to supporting consumers I saved getting on more and additional tech responsibilities. 

I experienced a great deal of experience supporting firms rework their technology stacks. Dutch Bros reached out and they have a great lifestyle so I thought it was a phenomenal opportunity to enable a manufacturer. 


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