Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Howard Schultz stepping down from Starbucks, doesn't rule out presidential run

Howard Schultz stepping down from Starbucks, doesn't rule out presidential run

Starbucks Corp Executive Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping away from hands-on management at the global coffee chain, effective June 26, fuelling speculation that the outspoken, liberal-leaning executive will make a USA presidential bid.

Mr Schultz, who will become chairman emeritus, also used his position to speak out in social debates.

Last year, Schultz stepped down as chief executive officer to become executive chairman, handing the top job to Kevin Johnson.

Schultz, known for being outspoken on social issues ranging from gay marriage to government gridlock, was heavily involved in steering the company through an anti-bias training program last month.

Howard Schultz announced he is stepping down from Starbucks, where he is executive chairman, effective June 26.

He had endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before the last presidential election and had sometimes deflected questions about whether he would run for office.

"I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines", he said. When the Times asked him directly if he's considering a run for president, he didn't say no.

"One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back", he continued.

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"I told myself a long time ago that if I was ever going to explore a second act, I couldn't do it while still at the company", he added.

Schultz, 64, over roughly four decades has built Starbucks into one of the world's most powerful global brands.

Starbucks said Mr Schultz planned to write a book and spend time with his family this summer.

Schultz started at Starbucks in 1982 and served as chief executive from 1987 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2017.

Starbucks shares were down 1.31 percent to $56.32 in after-hours trading on Wall Street.

Schultz's departure came weeks after Starbucks revamped its store policies following the arrests of two customers at a Philadelphia store location.

Myron Ullman, the former chairman and CEO of retail giant J.C. Penney, will replace Schultz as executive chairman of the board.

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