HR Champions: Giving back to coffee farmers with Le Hoang Diep Thao


  • Title: CEO, King Coffee
  • Office headquarters: Vietnam
  • Company operations: Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Pakistan, China, UK, and USA
  • Industry: Food & Beverage
  • Employees: 1,001-5,000

The King Coffee magnate has built a company and global partnerships by creating trust and value for her suppliers, franchisees, and partners. “That is the root of what we do. If we contribute, if we develop value, our partners who work closely with us can benefit, and together we can win,” she told The CEO Magazine last year.

Therefore, Le Hoang Diep Thao looks closely at how she can create a win-win situation in the Vietnamese coffee industry. She intends for coffee farmers and suppliers to grow as the company grows. She also came up with the ‘Happy Farmers’ initiative, an investment into continuing education and training of farmers incorporating new technologies. The programme is geared towards protecting the most vital component of the coffee supply chain.

On the same note, she is passionate about supporting her fellow entrepreneurs. Another initiative, ‘Women Can Do’, has trained and supported 100,000 franchisees, elevating their quality of life and those of their families. Thao says: “I strive not only for success for our company, but also to help other women. Creating value for women means creating good values for society.”

King Coffee’s philosophy for its work environment is “Always listen, learn, create, improve”. The company fosters a culture of leadership development among its staff. They provide monthly training, bonuses, comprehensive insurance, and discount promotions on top of competitive salaries.

Thao’s is a vibrant and compassionate brand of leadership that seeks to give back what is due to the nation’s coffee farmers, to women, and to her employees. As such, she well deserved to be lauded 2020’s Most Admired CEO in Vietnam in the food and beverage field, and Vietnamese Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, by different global publications.

Bold and compassionate; proven resilient and intensely mindful of their own humanness, these HR Champions are being revealed one-by-one. The full report, featuring all 15 Champions, is now available for subscriber download.

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Chief of Staff Asia