Robert JonesManaging Director
First joining the Coffee Planet team in 2007, Robert has championed Coffee Planet’s expansion into the foodservice and retail divisions, as well as successfully developing the brand’s 360 degree solutions to coffee ethos and becoming the largest roaster in the UAE, within his role as Managing Director.
With the primary objectives of helping more people experience the finest global Arabica coffee, Robert is responsible for overseeing the continued development of Coffee Planet’s GCC and wider Asia operations, as well as driving the brand’s international expansion into markets including the UK.
Prior to joining Coffee Planet, Robert worked closely with several small businesses in management positions, whilst studying for his business postgraduate at Cardiff Business School, Wales.
Robert graduated with honours in Computer Science from Kingston University, UK in 2005. As part of his degree, he studied at Harvard University, USA and spent a year in London working for a specialised IT company.
Matthew Yorke-SmithOperations Director
Responsible for co-founding the brand in 2005, Coffee Planet is Matthew’s brainchild. He plays a fundamental role in overseeing the roasting, production, supply chain, logistics and engineering sectors of the business within his role as Co-Founder and Chief Operations Director.
Overseeing the coffee supply chain from crop-to-cup, Matthew is responsible for sourcing and buying all of Coffee Planet’s green beans from over 20 different countries across the bean belt, to ensure quality and consistency in every cup – something Coffee Planet prides itself on.
Early in his career, Matthew showcased his entrepreneurial skills and founded a family-owned business in 1993. The company, Yorke Ceramics operated retail and wholesale for ceramic tiles and sanitary-ware. By early 2000s, Matthew worked as Managing Director for Intervid FZ LLC (UAE) where he was responsible for driving the brand’s footprint in the Middle East, with clients including Carrefour, Jumeirah International and the One & Only Royal Mirage.
Prior to joining Coffee Planet, Matthew relocated to the United Kingdom as Chief Executive Officer for ID Technology PLC.
Alan HardmanFinance Director
Coming on board the Coffee Planet team in 2017 as Finance Director, Alan brings with him over 20 years’ experience in hospitality and investment banking in the UK and the UAE.
Within his role, Alan works closely with members of senior management to oversee strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting, financial modelling and equity financing to ensure a streamlined financial process is adhered to at Coffee Planet, using his knowledge and experience to help drive growth in the business.
He began his career in finance as a trainee accountant as part of the Granada Groups hotel and theme park business, later moving to investment banking and finance with the Bank of New York Mellon, the largest custodial bank in the world working with some of the world’s largest investment funds. In 2008 Alan joined the largest online retailer in the UK as Financial Accountant, working initially on the financial planning for the delivery arm and then at the Group HQ assisting the Chief Investment Officer, sitting on the Trustee Boards.
Alan moved to Dubai in 2013 with his young family, working for Jumeirah Group. Prior to joining Coffee Planet, he was Commercial Manager for Emirates Leisure Retail, his role being to partner the business streams in ensuring that sales are optimized and effectively managed, monitoring the performance and analysis of 27 F&B outlets across the UAE.
Alan is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is also a member of the United Arab Emirates Chartered Accountants (UAECA) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).
Mike ButlerCommercial Director
Joining the Coffee Planet team in 2015 as Commercial Director, Mike brings to the role over 20 years’ experience in retail and FMCG in the UK and the Middle East.
Within his role, Mike is responsible for strategy, brand development, marketing, retail, franchising and human resources.
He began his career in fashion merchandising with River Island before moving into marketing and then finance with Superdrug, one of the largest health and beauty retailers in the UK. Mike joined Blockbuster in the early 2000s and set-up the UK’s leading online DVD rental business. Following a move to Tesco, he joined Dreams Beds as Marketing Director and in three years took the brand to number one in the UK.
Mike moved to Kuwait in 2011, running marketing for The Sultan Center supermarkets and then Alshaya’s restaurant division. He relocated to Dubai in 2014 and took on the role of Interim Commercial Director for McCain Foods MENA, prior to starting with Coffee Planet.
Mike has an economics degree from Sheffield University and an MBA from Cranfield University.