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Skydeck is the HBS alumni podcast series that features interviews with HBS alumni from across the world of business, sharing lessons learned and their own life experiences.

Feb 11, 2021

In 1963, Bob Rosenberg’s (MBA 1963) father asked him to become CEO of Universal Food Systems—which included a regional brand known as Dunkin’ Donuts. He was just 25 at the time. He recalls this moment in his new book, Around the Corner to Around the World: A Dozen Lessons I Learned Running Dunkin Donuts.“ Up until that point,” he writes, “the only thing I had managed were a couple of donut shops—replacing managers for their summer vacations—and a short stint supervising a cafeteria. My father’s request was breathtaking and anxiety-producing.” 

Over the next 35 years, Rosenberg would turn Dunkin' Donuts into a global icon—which last year sold to Inspire Brands for a stunning $11.3 billion. And in this episode of Skydeck, Rosenberg offers a frank assessment of family donut chain wars, details near-death takeover moments, and expounds on why a donut and a cup of coffee represent much more than a simple morning pick-me-up.