When Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) tapped Justin Whitmore as its Chief Strategy Officer, the company bolstered its leadership team with someone who has spent most of his career delivering results for big name companies in the food and beverage sector.
Whitmore's success story begins early, when he graduated from the University of Alabama as a Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year Nominee. From there, he went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated Cum Laude with an MBA. He later completed management and executive education programs at Auburn University and Harvard Business School, respectively.
After beginning his career at Johnson Controls and then Booz & Company, now known as Strategy& (the strategy consulting business unit of PwC), Whitmore joined McKinsey & Company as an associate partner. In this position, he worked extensively with companies in the food and beverage space, guiding them with his unique management consulting expertise.
Whitmore’s next move occurred in May 2017 when he joined Tyson Foods as the company’s chief sustainability officer, working out of the company’s Chicago offices. In August of that same year, he was promoted to executive vice president and took on the responsibility of overseeing the company’s venture investing in addition to its sustainability efforts. In May 2019, Whitmore was placed in charge of Tyson Foods’ alternative protein business and scaling the “Raised and Rooted” brand, as well as exploring other protein options.
During his time at Tyson, Whitmore played a key role in the company's global growth, value creation, and venture capital strategy. Additionally, he is credited with furthering the company’s sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gasses, as well as accelerating its venture capital investments in alternative proteins and technologies that engage Tyson’s core meat processing business.
Today, Whitmore is part of the leadership team for KDP, one of North America's largest beverage companies, with annual revenue in excess of $11 billion and nearly 26,000 employees. As the company's CSO, he oversees strategy, consumer insights, and innovation.
Commenting on Whitmore joining KDP, in February 2021 CEO Bob Gamgort said, "Justin is an exceptional addition to the KDP leadership team. He has a proven track record as an executive who drives innovative strategies, champions consumer insights, and delivers transformative results. We're excited to welcome him to our leadership team."
Moreover, Whitmore has garnered recognition from outside of his company. In 2019, he was named to CNN's Risk Takers list, which recognizes the top 20 leaders pushing global business forward. Previously, he was also named one of the “Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy Magazine, and was listed among Black Enterprise Magazine's 300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.
In addition to his work at KDP, Whitmore currently serves on the Corporate Advisory Board at Notre Dame’s business school and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council.