Star­bucks CEO step­ping down

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

Howard Schultz, the head of Star­bucks, said on Thurs­day he would step down as CEO of the world’s largest cof­fee busi­ness.

Schultz, 63, will be suc­ceeded on April 3 by Kevin John­son, 56, the com­pany’s cur­rent pres­i­dent and a long­time Star­bucks board mem­ber.

Schultz will re­main at the com­pany as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and con­tinue to serve as chair­man of the board. The com­pany said he will fo­cus on in­no­va­tion, the de­sign of Star­bucks lo­ca­tions and the com­pany’s so­cial im­pact ini­tia­tives.

Schultz’s sur­prise an­nounce­ment sent the stock sink­ing 3 per­cent in af­ter-hours trad­ing on Thurs­day.

Schultz had pre­vi­ously served as the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive from 1987 to 2000, but re­turned to the po­si­tion in 2008 to guide it through the re­ces­sion and re­store growth at the com­pany.

Star­bucks has more than 25,000 stores in 75 coun­tries. The com­pany first en­tered the Chi­nese main­land mar­ket in 1999. Now it has more than 2,400 stores in over 110 cities.

Schultz has said that he wanted to have one new Star­bucks ev­ery day in China for the next five years.

“What we be­lieve, as a com­pany, is that China will one day prob­a­bly sur­pass the size and scale of our busi­ness in the US,” Schultz told China Daily dur­ing his lat­est trip to Shang­hai in late Oc­to­ber.


Star­bucks Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Howard Schultz speaks dur­ing the com­pany’s an­nual share­holder’s meet­ing in Seat­tle in March 2015. Schultz an­nounced on Thurs­day that he would step down as CEO of the world’s largest cof­fee busi­ness.

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