Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Starbucks chief Schultz retiring, may run for president

Starbucks chief Schultz retiring, may run for president

Starbucks executive chair Howard Schultz just sent a memo to all of the company's staff announcing his departure.

Schultz, 64, became director of operations and marketing at Starbucks in 1982.

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.

The company temporarily closed more than 8,000 USA stores after the arrest for racial bias training.

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

Mr Schultz, who retired as chief executive previous year, is to relinquish his seat on the board on 26 June.

"I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines", he said.

Speaking to CNN about the closure, Schultz said "we realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores who may have a problem". I'm sure nothing will drum up nationwide political interest like the prospect of a coffee billionaire from Seattle running.

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"I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service", he added, when asked if he was weighing a presidential run.

"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. "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".

In the meantime, he plans on working on his family foundation, and writing a book about the social responsibility companies have.

Starbucks' board named Myron Ullman, who was previously chairman and CEO of struggling retailer J.C. Penney, as its new chair and Mellody Hobson vice chair effective upon Schultz's retirement.

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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.

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