Howard Schultz Steps Down as Starbucks CEO
December 1, 2016 Leave a comment
Today, Starbucks announced that Howard Schultz is stepping down from his position as CEO. But Schultz isn’t completely leaving the company. The 63-year-old is taking on the role of executive chairman beginning on April 3, 2017.
Kevin Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at Starbucks, will replace Schultz as the new CEO.
“As I focus on Starbucks’ next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson—our current president, COO, a seven-year board member and my partner in running every facet of Starbucks business over the last two years—has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer. This move ideally positions Starbucks to continue profitably growing our core business around the world into the future,” Schultz stated.
But for as optimistic as Schultz seemed, investors weren’t buying it. Stocks fell by more than 3% following the announcement. Some are speculating that Schultz stepped down so he could pursue his political interests instead.
In an interview with CNN, Schultz stated, “Given the state of things in the country, there is a need to help those left behind.”
It’s still unclear exactly what Schultz was getting at. However, there are clues that suggest that Schultz might be making a run for POTUS come 2020.
For one, he is an outspoken Democrat and long-time backer of President Barack Obama. He even publicly endorsed presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. It’s more than possible that given the results of the election, Schultz will be gunning for the highest political office in the country.
If it were true, there are already hints as to what kind of campaign he would be running. In the past, Schultz has supported a higher minimum wage. He’s even offered his employees free college.
In the mean time, Schultz assured investors that he is confident in Johnson’s ability to take over as CEO. Schultz went as far as to say Johnson was “better prepared than I am” to be CEO.