Amid speculations about a possible presidential candidacy, the coffee billionaire Howard Schultz bids farewell to Starbucks (SBUX) that he nurtured right from a small business to a successful global giant. After more than three decades, Schultz will step away from his role as an executive chairman as well as a member of the board.
For years, there have been speculations that Schultz would be a viable presidential candidate. And this latest announcement from Starbucks gave more fodder for speculations. The politically active leader had earlier supported Hillary Clinton during her bid for the presidency. He had also endorsed Obama twice.
After more than three decades, Schultz will step away from his role as an executive chairman as well as a member of the board.
Schultz is one of the most prominent figures in the US. He has been vocal about political issues. He even criticized President Trump as he felt Trump’s behavior was impacting consumer behavior. During an interview with The New York Times, the former Starbucks CEO stated that he may consider public service. When stressed on the political future, he commented that he is evaluating a wide range of options, which could include public service.
But this news didn’t go down well with the investors, as the company’s shares fell yesterday in the after-market trading hours and the downtrend continued even today. The stock was down about 2% during the morning session. Schultz’s exit could be a major loss for Starbucks. Under his leadership, the coffee chain grew rapidly. Starbucks is now present in over 77 countries and has a total store count of 28,000.
Schultz had initially resigned from his executive role in 2000 but took hold of the company again in 2008 when the coffee chain was struggling to overcome the financial crisis. He resigned again last year, following which Kevin Johnson joining as the new CEO. His last day at Starbucks would be June 26.
The company has named former JCPenney (JCP) executive Myron Ullman as the new chairperson, and Mellody Hobson has been nominated as the vice chairperson.