Howard Schultz stepping down as Starbucks executive chairman

Dwayne Harmon
June 5, 2018

Schultz's move comes after he ceded the day-to-day duties of CEO at Starbucks a year ago to focus on innovation and social-impact projects as executive chairman.

Schultz will leave the company at the end of the month and take on the honorary title of chairman emeritus, Starbucks said in a statement.

There has been speculation that Schultz is retiring from Starbucks to attempt a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Asked specifically about a USA presidential run Schultz, said in a New York Times article on Monday: "I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service". New York Times recently asked Schultz about this, and while he wouldn't directly answer questions, he suggested that he hasn't ruled out a future in politics and public service.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz speaks during the company's annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015.

"I still feel like a kid from Brooklyn who grew up in public housing", Schultz said about his departure.

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After stepping down as CEO in 2017, he remained on as executive chairman.

That effort came after a Philadelphia cafe manager's calls to police resulted in the arrests of two black men who were waiting for a friend - leading to protests and accusations of racial profiling at the chain.

Starbucks, which styled itself as a "third place" for Americans to congregate along with work and home, also because synonymous with an urban style that bred imitators and changed the food business.

Starbucks also announced today 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. Together we've done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.

The announcement comes just days after the closure of 8,000 stores for anti-racism training.

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.

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