Starbucks leader Howard Schultz is leaving the coffee copmany

Starbucks leader Howard Schultz is leaving the coffee copmany

Starbucks leader Howard Schultz is leaving the coffee copmany

Starbucks Corporation today announced that Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman and member of the Board of Directors and will be honored with the title of chairman emeritus effective June 26, 2018.

As executive chairman, Schultz oversaw the opening of upscale Reserve stores and massive Roastery showrooms as part of its new Siren Retail initiative.

Schultz relinquished his post as chief executive in 2017 to focus on innovation and social issues, with former Starbucks president and chief operating officer officer Kevin Johnson taking over the role.

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.

Starbucks said Myron E. "Mike" Ullman will take over as chairman of the board, and Mellody Hobson will become vice chair (Disclosure: Mellody Hobson is a regular contributor to CBS News).

Schultz isn't shy about making political statements, and his departure is likely to fuel speculation about whether he could challenge President Trump in 2020 as a Democrat and business leader.


Schultz elevated the concept of Starbucks as the third place between home and work: a comfortable, welcoming environment that provides uplifting experiences, community and human connection. He had endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before the last presidential election and had sometimes deflected questions about whether he would run for office.

"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. I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service. "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 also credited the company with "balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility".

Starbucks shares closed up 0.28 percent at $57.07 in regular Monday trading on the Nasdaq, but were down 1 percent at $56.50.

This comes after the controversial episode in which two African American men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for trespassing.

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