Douglas DeBoer

Three-time CEO, Private Equity Advisor and Board Member, Former Unilever Executive



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Douglas DeBoer is a three-time CEO with extensive experience leading companies to strong growth and monetization outcomes. He has led companies and brands in the USA, China, and Asia-Pacific, spanning numerous industries, including Restaurants, Knowledge Services, Education and Education Technology, Consumer Products, Consumer Technology, Multi-Location Businesses, Consulting, and Private Equity.

Douglas has specific expertise in high-growth companies, turnarounds and special situations, digital transformation, founder-led businesses, family businesses, international expansion, and crisis management.

He has served as CEO for numerous private equity control investments and portfolio companies (including with L Catterton, CVC Capital Partners, and Macquarie Capital). He has a strong understanding of and experience working with Boards of Directors and complex investor structures. Douglas also has extensive experience in monetizations, fundraising, and sell-side/buy-side transactions with private equity, investment firms, and strategic buyers.

Business Highlights:

  • CEO of Domino’s Pizza China. Douglas increased revenues from a US $8 million to US $50 million run rate, turned around company EBITDA from an $8 million annual loss to profitability, grew locations from 24 to 80, and was awarded worldwide recognition for the fastest country sales growth of any Domino’s business globally in 2014. Douglas turned around and grew the company, and exited at a 4X valuation in 3 years.
  • Chief of Operations for EF Education. Douglas built the adult English learning center and knowledge services business from a start-up to $200 million in revenue. Douglas led the business transformation from a traditional brick-and-mortar business into an ed-tech and digital learning market leader. The core business was sold for a $1.5 billion valuation.
  • CEO of Da Niang Dumpling Restaurant Group Ltd. Da Niang was one of the largest restaurant brands in China with 430+ stores in over 100 cities and 16 provinces, US $200+ million in sales revenue, a full line of retail frozen packaged food, and 6,000+ employees. Da Niang was a distressed asset with both stakeholder relations and financial obstacles. Douglas successfully turned around the business, completed a sale of the company to a strategic buyer, and realized a valuation at the high end of the expected range.
  • CEO of Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts. Crystal Jade was a leader in Chinese cuisine in Asia with US $260+ million in annual system revenue and over 100 restaurants, spanning 10 countries and territories with multiple formats and brands (including quick service, casual dining, and fine dining).  The company was a distressed asset with declining sales and structural obstacles. In his first two years, Douglas increased company profits by more than 75%.

In addition, Douglas has over a decade of consumer marketing experience in the USA, China, and Asia. He has held roles of increasing responsibility at General Mills, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-RobbinsColgate-Palmoliveand Unilever. In the USA, Douglas worked with Unilever leading the $400+ million Lipton Tea brand and played a key role in increasing total brand sales and market share. At Colgate-Palmolive, he led the company’s China marketing for numerous flagship toothpaste brands. During his time with Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts, Douglas held various marketing positions of increasing responsibility leading the brands in China, Japan, and 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Douglas began his marketing career at General Mills in the USA.

Douglas received his MBA from The Wharton School and is a member of YPO.  He lived in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore for over 20 years.  Douglas speaks native English, fluent Mandarin, and basic Japanese.

Featured Podcasts:

Listen to these CEO Coaching International podcast episodes featuring Douglas DeBoer: