Elias will join the board of directors of International Coffee & Tea, which owns CBTL. The coffee chain operates 944 company-owned and franchised stores mainly in the US and Asia. Investors recently injected significant expansion financing expected to lead to construction of many new stores. Dawson was responsible for operations, business development and franchising at Dunkin’ Brands.
“My primary focus will be on increasing our existing sales and store base, supporting our franchisees, delivering outstanding product quality and providing excellent customer experiences,” said Dawson. “I’m impressed with the iconic status of the brand, its ‘People First’ culture and its global footprint. I look forward to returning to my native Southern California and working with the management team to accelerate growth of this business. My primary focus will be on increasing our existing sales and store base, supporting our franchisees, delivering outstanding product quality and providing excellent customer experiences.”
Prior to his work at Dunkin’ Dawson was vice president of worldwide restaurant development at McDonald’s Corporation, responsible for setting the strategic direction for McDonald’s global development. He earned a B.A. in both Economics and Political Science from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California and received a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Elias, who is a native of Singapore, is an attorney trained in London. He opened the first franchised Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store in Kuala Lumpur and later bought the company. He moved to Los Angeles as CEO where he expanded the brand’s holdings to 311 U.S. stores and launched a single-serve beverage system. Elias was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®program in 2013.