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Marc Caira

Your Morning Brew Includes Alumni Expertise

Joining the early-morning line at Tim Hortons before class is part of the school experience for many Seneca students and faculty. That tradition now holds even more pertinence with one of our own standing behind the morning brew and breakfast. Marketing grad Marc Caira joined Tim Hortons as President in 2013 and was appointed CEO of the popular chain in July 2014.

When the recent news of the Tim Hortons and Burger King merger made headlines throughout Canada and in the U.S., it was enough to make Mr. Caira the 2014 Canadian Press Business Newsmaker of the Year.

The purchase of Tim Hortons by Burger King Worldwide Inc. resulted in the creation of Restaurant Brands International – a new multi-national company that will be based in Oakville. This company is the third-largest fast-food chain on the planet, and will operate in 18,000 locations. In December, post-merger, Marc was named Restaurant Brands International’s Vice Chair.

“As part of Restaurant Brands International, Tim Hortons will remain an independent, iconic Canadian brand, but with significant opportunities to accelerate our brand development around the world,” said Marc.

Marc moved to Canada from Southern Italy with his family, in 1960. It was ingrained in him very early that the first priority in life was to build security for yourself and your family. For Marc, that meant having a job at a young age. He found work in a grocery store and figured his path was set.

After high school, Marc was content earning money and hoping one day to become a store manager. His mother had bigger plans. She was the driving influence for him to continue his studies. He chose Seneca’s Marketing Administration program, while continuing to work 35 hours per week.

“At Seneca, I not only learned the practical tools I needed to be successful early in life, but also the critical values and principles that are embedded in me,” said Marc. He credits another woman in his life with playing a part in his college success. Marc met Business Administration student Helan Peros at Seneca. Helan’s influence on his academics resulted in a graduation with high honours. Her influence on Marc’s heart would lead to a marriage of more than 35 years.

Back at the grocery store, Marc met a sales rep for Nestlé who turned his thinking towards a new job. He followed the path to Nestlé becoming a marketing trainee in an experimental role that turned into a 30-year career with the company. He held eight different positions during his tenure with Nestlé Canada and worked closely with Tim’s for decades. His next move was to food producer and distributor Parmalat North America as CEO then a return to Nestlé’s global headquarters in Switzerland.

Marc was ready to return to Canada and announce his retirement in 2012 but received a call from Tim Hortons Inc. he couldn’t ignore. He saw tremendous potential for Tim Hortons in Canada, the U.S., and internationally.

Marc always enjoys working with young people. He appreciates their passion, energy and the “can-do” attitude that he feels is needed in today’s business world.

“My advice to anyone trying to succeed in business is to treat people with respect, be humble and appreciative, and be aware of the world around you,” said Marc.

While Tim Hortons is part of a daily routine for so many, Marc has found a tradition of his own at Seneca. His daughter Nadia is a Human Resources Management grad and his daughter Jenna is enrolled in the Corporate Communications graduate certificate program.

Soon, the Caira family will have their own version of a “double-double.” Only instead of being a coffee order at Tim’s, it will be four family members over two generations with Seneca credentials.