Howard Schultz Announces Retirement As Starbucks Executive Chairman

Howard Schultz onstage at the annual shareholders meeting in 2017. Schultz is stepping down as Starbucks executive chairman and leaving the company’s board of directors

Howard Schultz onstage at the annual shareholders meeting in 2017. Schultz is stepping down as Starbucks executive chairman and leaving the company’s board of directors

Schultz said his main goal is to serve the country.

Mr Schultz, 64, started working for Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing.

Schultz is credited with expanding Starbucks from a Seattle-based coffee chain to an worldwide conglomerate with over 28,000 stores.

Schultz stepped down from his former position as CEO in April, but had stayed on as the company's executive chairman. Schultz signed his announcement "Onward with love, Howard".

Schultz, who has been outspoken on political and social issues, has long attracted speculation that he will run for office, potentially as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.

"It's not going to solve racism, but I do believe it is the right thing to do at this time", Schultz said at the time. In the years following his return to Seattle, Schultz purchased Starbucks with the support of local investors and dedicated his career to bringing his vision of a modern coffee house to life in America and around the world. "But I'm a long way from making any decisions about the future". "For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world".




Starbucks declined to make Schultz or other Starbucks executives and board members available for comment. He said that will become chairman emeritus.

"It removes a perceived leadership "safety net" and creates a degree of uncertainty at a time when Starbucks faces a number of challenges", said BMO Capital Markets analyst Andrew Strelzik.

Last week, the company closed its USA stores for several hours for bias awareness training for its employees, one of the measures it promised after the men were arrested as they waited for an associate but hadn't bought anything.

Mr Schultz also offered a harsh assessment of his own firm last month, after Starbucks called police to report two black customers waiting for a friend, leading to their arrest for trespassing.

Starbucks' board named Myron Ullman, who was previously chairman and CEO of struggling retailer J.C. Penney, as its new chair and Mellody Hobson vice chair effective upon Schultz's retirement.

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