Howard Schultz Bids Farewell To Starbucks

Posted On: 6/12/2018

  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
  • PDF


SEATTLE -- Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman and member of the board of directors of Starbucks and will be honored with the title of chairman emeritus effective June 26.
 
During his four decades as chief executive and chairman, Schultz grew Starbucks from 11 stores to more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries.
 
Under Schultz's leadership, Starbucks has delivered a 21,000% gain in the value of its stock price since its initial public offering in 1992.
 
"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 addressed today to past and present 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's journey began in 1981, when he walked into the first Starbucks store, located in Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market. The following year, he moved with his wife, Sheri, from New York to assume the role of director of operations and marketing. Schultz's passion for the highest quality coffee heightened on a business trip to Italy, where he was captivated by the sense of community, romance and theater found in Italian coffee bars.
 
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.
 
In April 2017, Schultz transitioned from chief executive to executive chairman, shifting his full-time focus to the company's social impact initiatives as well as innovation and global development of the company's premium Reserve brand, including Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, Reserve stores and the company's partnership with artisanal Italian bakery, Princi.
 
Following his transition off the Starbucks board at the end of June, Schultz will oversee the opening of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan on Sept. 6 -- marking the company's entry into Italy -- and the New York Roastery in late October.
 
Starbucks also announced that its board of directors has appointed Myron E. "Mike" Ullman as its new chair of the board and Mellody Hobson as vice chair of the board effective upon Schultz's retirement.
 
Schultz is writing a book about Starbucks social impact work and the efforts to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in an ever-changing society.