Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz stepping down at end of June after almost 40 years

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Who is Howard Schultz, Architect of the Modern Starbucks?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down on June 26 after nearly 40 years, according to a statement from the coffee giant.

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The company will honor Schultz, who is credited with reimagining the Italian coffeehouse tradition in America, as chairman emeritus when he leaves at the end of the month.

While Schultz was at the helm of Starbucks, he built the shop from 11 stores to more than 28,000 locations in 77 countries, according to a company statement.

Under his leadership, the coffee giant delivered a 21,000 percent increase in the value of its stock price since 1992 when it made its first public offering.

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Starbucks growth”was fueled by his decisions to provide uncommon benefits for those who work for Starbucks, including comprehensive healthcare, stock ownership and free college tuition, even for those working part-time,” the retailer said.

“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 said in a letter to past and present Starbucks partners.

“Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility,” he said.

Schulz will oversee the opening of two Roastery stores - one in Milan in September and one in New York in October - after he leaves the board, the company said.

He also oversaw racial bias training for Starbucks’ 175,000 workers earlier this month after the arrest of two black customers at a store in Philadelphia

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Schulz, the father of two children, said in Monday’s statement, he’s looking forward to spending time with his family this summer. He also said he’s writing a book about “Starbucks social impact work and the efforts to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in an ever-changing society.”

The company also announced on Monday that two current board members, former J.C. Penny chairman and CEO Myron E. Ullman will replace Schultz as the next chairman of Starbucks Board of Directors and Mellody Hobson, of Ariel Investments, will serve serve as vice chair.

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