As the chief executive officer of Waterbury, Vt.-based Keurig Green Mountain Inc., Brian Kelley describes his leadership style as challenging and fast-paced but open. But he’s also adamant about being a good listener — both to his employees and consumers. This year, Kelley’s leadership traits particularly came in handy as the company entered uncharted waters with the development of two new beverage-making platforms that relied on consumer feedback.
For instance, when the company asked consumers who don’t own a Keurig brewing system why they haven’t purchased one, the No. 1 response was that it doesn’t brew a pot of coffee, Kelley explains. Therefore, the company recently released the Keurig 2.0 brewing system, which is the first in the company’s portfolio to brew both a single cup and a four-cup carafe from a Keurig-branded pack.