From tour guide to CEO, Ben & Jerry's announces top position for 34 year veteran Dave Stever

18-May-2023 - USA

It's not uncommon for a corporate employee at Ben & Jerry's to have began their career as a scooper and then move onto a corporate position, many staying for decades. But going from a tour guide to CEO? That's something else.

Ben & Jerry's

34-year veteran Dave Stever was announced as Ben & Jerry's Chief Executive Officer May 8, 2023.

Ben & Jerry's named Dave Stever as its new CEO on May 8, 2023. The 34 year veteran has seen it all in his career. The lifelong Vermonter, started as a tour guide in 1988 at the Company's Waterbury factory, which is the state's #1 tour attraction. Stever swiftly established himself in Marketing and management and over the past 12 years as Chief Marketing Officer. Throughout his career, Stever witnessed scrappy fights with rival Haagen Dazs in the early days who was then the industry leader, smash flavor sensations like Chubby Hubby, Phishfood and the #1 fan favorite in the U.S., Half Baked. Stever was well established as a leader in management when the company became part of Unilever over 20 years ago.

One of his strengths has been working cross functionally to create impactful partnerships with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Stephen Colbert, Willie Nelson, Sir Elton John, Jimmy Fallon, Colin Kaepernick, Netflix, Chance the Rapper, Tony's Chocolonely and Ava DuVernay. While leading the company to remain as part of the cultural zeitgeist, Stever never lost focus on the critical differentiator for Ben & Jerry's: its mission. Anuradha Mittal, Ben & Jerry's Board Chair, said: "The Board is very pleased with the selection of Dave as Ben & Jerry's next CEO, and not just because of his passion for our euphoric super-premium icecream. Dave's long history at Ben & Jerry's along with his recognition of the integral role that the company's values and Social Mission play in our growth and our commitment to advancing justice and equity in the world, make him the best choice to write the next chapter in Ben & Jerry's remarkable story,"

The news spread quickly around the company's headquarters in South Burlington as well as throughout the global organization in the 35 countries where Ben & Jerry's operates. The tone was one of joy and adulation for the well-admired colleague who has always been a favorite among his coworkers. It marks Sthe first time since cofounder Ben Cohen stepped down as CEO in 1994 that a staff member has been promoted from within to the CEO position. Stever, who serves as CMO, assumes the top role from Matthew McCarthy, who recently retired from Ben & Jerry's after five years at the helm. 

"Ben and I have known Dave for over 3 decades and we are absolutely thrilled that he will be leading Ben & Jerry's into the next chapter of our company's history," said cofounder Jerry Greenfield. "Dave started out 30 years ago as a tour guide. And now he's CEO. He knows Ben & Jerry's inside and out. He lives it and breathes it. We are psyched to have someone with Dave's talent, passion and demonstrated ability as our CEO," added cofounder Ben Cohen.

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