Howard Schultz has stepped down as CEO of Starbucks, and has offered his seat to Kevin Johnson.
CNN Money reports that Schultz has stepped down as CEO before, back in 2000, but was forced to return in 2008 when the stock fell by significant numbers during the recession. So, here we are again in 2016, saying goodbye to Schultz as CEO and bracing for change.
The new standing CEO will be Kevin Johnson, as of April 3, 2017. Both Starbucks representatives seem to be looking forward to the transition, according to a Starbucks press release.
“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,” says Schultz.
Johnson responded: “It is an honor for me to serve the more than 300,000 partners who proudly wear the green apron and I consider it a privilege to work side-by-side with Howard, our world-class board of directors, and a very talented leadership team. Together, we will reaffirm our leadership in all things coffee, enhance the partner experience and exceed the expectations of our customers and shareholders. We believe in using our scale for good and having positive social impact in the communities we serve around the world.”
But shareholders shouldn't get too nervous. Schultz isn't really going anywhere. It looks more like the two will be working together to continue their innovative efforts in keeping Starbucks top-of-line. Schultz will be acting as executive chairman of the board, and focusing on the Starbucks Reserve brand and the Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. Johnson's focus as CEO will be, well, most of everything else. I'm sure with the guidance Schultz has to offer, Johnson will do just fine. Let's not forget that Schultz has chosen this man for a reason. Let's give him a chance!