Founder & CEO of BeCause
Mats Lederhausen formed BE-CAUSE in early 2007. The company is a platform for investing and building businesses with a “purpose bigger than their products®.” This philosophy is based on both ancient philosophy as well observations and experience from companies that were propelled by a strong purpose. Brands that have a strong conviction around why they exist and who they exist to serve will end up attracting better employees and more loyal customers and therefore ultimately be more successful.
Prior to forming BE-CAUSE, Mats served as Managing Director of McDonald’s Ventures. McDonald’s Ventures managed the investments McDonald’s held in future oriented growth initiatives including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Boston Market, RedBox DVD and Pret A Manger. As a director, Chairman and finally lead director of Chipotle from 2000-2006 Mats helped shape the strategy that ultimately led to one of the most successful restaurant IPOs of all times. Mats was on the founding team of RedBox and served on its board until Coinstar acquired McDonald’s stake in RedBox in the spring of 2009.
Mats joined McDonald’s Corporation in 1999 as head of global strategy. During the next 4 years he had the responsibility for global strategy and business development. As President of Business Development Mats later assumed responsibility for worldwide menu, worldwide real estate and restaurant R&D. During these years Mats played a key role in shaping the agenda that later has helped McDonald’s complete one of the most successful corporate turnarounds in recent history.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Mats began his career with McDonald’s in 1979 as a part time crew member in Sweden. In 1983, he participated in the McDonald’s Management Development Program and worked as a store manager from 1984 to 1985. Lederhausen worked for The Boston Consulting Group in London from 1988 to 1990. In 1990, he returned to McDonald’s and in 1993 became the Managing Director and Joint Venture Partner for McDonald’s Sweden. Under his leadership, the company grew from 40 restaurants to nearly 170 restaurants.
Mats was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 under 40” to watch in 1999 and the World Economic Forum honored him as a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” in 2000. Mats is a special General Partner at Cue Ball, an Evegreen Venture Capital firm based in Boston. Mats serves as Chairman of the board of ROTI Modern Mediterranean. Mats also serves on the boards of Itrim International, MiniLuxe, Unreal, Susie Cakes, True Botanicals and LRN. Mats serves on the global board of trustees of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Mats received a Master’s degree from Stockholm School of Economics in 1988. Mats lives in Chicago with his wife, Dr. Jessica Lederhausen and their 4 children.