Starbucks Chairman Steps Down Giving Rise to Speculations of Presidential AmbitionsTop Stories

June 05, 2018 06:55
Starbucks Chairman Steps Down Giving Rise to Speculations of Presidential Ambitions

(Image source from: Washington Post)

Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks, who transformed a small retail chain of coffee stores with more than 28,000 in 77 countries to a worldwide juggernaut of cafes, restaurants and coffee beans will be stepping down as an executive chairman as as a member of company's board effective on June 26 as said by Starbucks.

One of most widely recognized America's CEOs, Schultz emerged as an outspoken leader on immigration issues; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer issues and gun control. This move has regulated for a speculation of his move into political office in the future.

In an interview with media source, Schultz acknowledge that he may consider public service and asked if he was specifically planning to run for president, he said, "I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service. But I'm a long way from making any decisions about the future."

Schultz has expressed his interest over involving in public life as he has equivocated on questions about whether he will mount a crusade for president.

His friend David Geffen, the Hollywood mogul and a major Democratic donor has said he encouraged Schultz to run as far back as the 2008 campaign cycle.

In 2015, Schultz stated that "Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray. I'm not done serving at Starbucks."

Schultz has utilized the intervening years in expanding his philanthropic efforts through both his Starbucks and family foundation, which focuses on aiding veterans, employing young people and helping homeless in Washington.

He as well co-produced a documentary series about inspiring Americans who engage in acts of citizenship and civility and unveiled a separate personal office to handle his own affairs.

At event of Atlantic Council last month in Washington, Schultz laid out a set of themes that would fit in a 2020 presidential campaign easily, including a warning against isolationism and nationalism.

"This is not a time to build walls. This is a time to build bridges," he said. "We have an awesome responsibility not to be desensitized by the time we are living in, not to accept the status quo of a lack of dignity and a lack of respect, but to rise above it and to do all we can."

The Starbucks said that J.C. Penney chairman and CEO Myron Mike Ullamn would be appointed as its new board chair and Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments president would be appointed as a vice chair. Both are current members of the Starbucks board.

Schultz as made made it clear that Starbucks racial bias training wasn't merely about his country alone.

"It's not about Starbucks, it's about the country," Schultz said. "What kind of country do we want to live in? For me the answer is very simple. The promise of America will not be achieved if it is only available to those that have the right color of skin or have the right zip code. We must provide opportunity and aspiration to every single person who is American, and we must see that through the lens of humanity. And this exercise is the beginning of that for Starbucks."

By Sowmya Sangam

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Starbucks  Howard Schultz