Howard Schultz to Step Down as Starbucks' Executive Chairman

  • Howard Schultz to Step Down as Starbucks' Executive Chairman

Howard Schultz to Step Down as Starbucks' Executive Chairman

Starbucks Corp Executive Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping away from hands-on management at the global coffee chain, effective June 26, fuelling speculation that the outspoken, liberal-leaning executive will make a USA presidential bid. CNBC adds that he will serve as "chairman emeritus".

Schultz, who oversaw the transformation of Starbucks into a global chain with more than 28,000 locations, had left the CEO job at the company a year ago to focus on innovation and social impact projects.

Schultz, known for being outspoken on social issues ranging from gay marriage to government gridlock, was heavily involved in steering the company through an anti-bias training program last month.

In an interview with the New York Times, Mr Schultz did not rule out a run for president.

Schultz said Monday that Kevin Johnson "is a true servant leader" who will lead the company into the future.

When asked about the 2020 presidential election, he said: "I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service".

While speaking with The New York Times this week, he said: 'I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines. "For years I've had a dream to build a different kind of company, one that has the potential to enhance lives and endure long after I was gone". He spoke to the growing division in the country and America's standing in the world.

The coffee chain also recently faced backlash after two black men were arrested at one of its Philadelphia cafes while waiting for a meeting to start.

Schultz came to work at Starbucks in the 1980s in its marketing department.

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.

He also credited the company with "balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility". 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.