Howard Schultz Is Stepping Down As Starbucks Executive Chairman

Jun 05, 2018, 01:32
Howard Schultz Is Stepping Down As Starbucks Executive Chairman

Howard Schultz is stepping down as Starbucks executive chairman and leaving the company's board of directors, effective June 26, and he hasn't ruled out running for president.

Howard Schultz, who built a small Seattle coffee shop into the global powerhouse Starbucks, announced on Monday (Jun 4) that he was retiring from the company, fuelling speculation he may run for president as a Democrat in 2020.

"I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for", Schultz wrote in a letter to Starbucks partners. Together we've done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.

Schultz has been with the company since 1982 and served multiple stints leading the company.

Schultz, 64, spent four decades working at Starbucks.

"I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines", he said in discussing his political ambitions in an interview with The New York Times. He spoke to the growing division in the country and America's standing in the world. Starbucks closed all of its company-owned stores in the US for four hours last week so employees could undergo racial bias training. I'm not exactly sure what that means yet ... Shares of Starbucks have risen 21,000 percent since the company's initial public offering in 1992; an investor who had put in $10,000 then would have more than $2 million today.

Starbucks' board named Myron Ullman, previously chairman and CEO of struggling retailer J.C. Penney Co, as its new chair, and Mellody Hobson as vice chair effective upon Schultz's retirement. He's taught all of us that it's possible to be a very different kind of public company.

Starbucks has more than 28,000 store locations across 77 countries.

Still, Schultz was heavily involved in steering the company through an anti-bias training program after a Philadelphia cafe manager's call to police resulted in the arrests of two black men who were waiting for a friend.

Starbucks said Mr Schultz planned to write a book and spend time with his family this summer.

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