PCC’s Vision for Growth and Stability Under New CEO’s Leadership
Following two abrupt exits from PCC’s previous CEO’s during the height of the COVID pandemic, Krishnan Srinivasan has taken up the difficult task of steadying PCC’s business, creating opportunities for innovation, strengthening ties with its employees, and communicating PCC’s mission more effectively.
PCC’s previous CEO Suzy Monford, who lasted only eight months in the position, came under fire for opposing Seattle’s hazard pay ordinance during COVID. Resentment swelled between PCC’s workers and their leadership, motivating two store employees to run for a successful election to the company’s board. Workers have also recently held a rally for better pay outside of the co-op’s downtown location. The company’s union contract is up at the end of this year, and Srinivasan states that creating a new contract that reflects the leadership’s care for its employees is the number one priority. Srinivasan believes that the company has a very strong and positive relationship with its 1,800 employees, but they can always do better.
According to Srinivasan, PCC’s top priorities are to reach more people, do more good in their communities, be a great place to work and operate excellent stores. Srinivasan believes that they still have work to reach more shoppers in the communities they currently serve, to inform them of PCC’s principles and why shopping with them makes a positive impact in their community. To accomplish this, PCC is rolling out new hyper-local community boards to highlight what that store contributes to its community, such as food bank donations, local event support, etc.
Regarding PCC’s vision to innovation and growth, Srinivasan says that they are driven by their focus on their triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Despite his background in technology, having served in leadership roles with Amazon and Microsoft, Srinivasan does not advocate technology for technology’s sake. Currently, they are not pursuing innovation, such as automatic check-out or creating their own grocery delivery platform. Having added six stores in the last six years, their technology investments are on the back end to ensure robust systems and processes are in place to keep pace with their current growth.
PCC is only looking to expand if it makes sense through the lens of their vision, mission, and values. Srinivasan states, “We will look at places where PCC can uniquely provide our quality of food to a community that does not experience it. We will look at our ability to have an impact on the community by creating jobs, by participating in food banks. And we will do it only if it does not create stress in the rest of the organization.”