The nation's second largest retail coffee chain has a new leader at the top.

Caribou Coffee confirmed that Sarah Spiegel quietly took over as chief executive of the Brooklyn Center-based chain this month. Spiegel was previously president of U.S. retail and chief operating officer. Before that, she was a brand president of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group.

Spiegel is now CEO of both Caribou and Lakewood, Colo.-based Einstein Bros. Bagels, according to her LinkedIn page. A spokesperson for Caribou said Spiegel will split her time between the Twin Cities and the Denver area.

Both companies are owned by European firm JAB Holding Co., which also is the parent of Peet's Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Krispy Kreme and one of its most recent acquisitions, Panera Bread Co.

Spiegel is filling positions previously held by Mike Tattersfield, who had been Caribou's CEO since 2008 and helped get it back on track. He became CEO of struggling North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme, and until recently was apparently CEO of all three brands. Tattersfield will continue as board chairman of Caribou and Einstein.

As part of the flurry of leadership changes, Caribou also has selected John Butcher, a former Target merchandising executive, to be its president. He joined the company last month and now oversees marketing, product development and retail operations.

Caribou has more than 600 company-owned and franchised locations around the world. It also sells its coffee and related products in thousands of grocery stores. In the past two years, it has opened new stores co-branded with Einstein called "Coffee & Bagels." It now has more than a dozen such locations around the Twin Cities. Caribou employs about 250 people at its headquarters in Brooklyn Center.

Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113