Howard Schultz — credited with expanding Starbucks Corp. from its small Seattle beginnings to an international behemoth — is stepping down as executive chairman, the company said Monday.
Schultz, who will take the honorary title of chairman emeritus, will be succeeded by lead independent director Myron Ullman, former chairman and chief executive at J.C. Penney Co.
. Schultz’s last day with the company is June 26, Starbucks said.
Schultz stepped down as chief executive in April 2017. He joined the original company as marketing director in 1982 and, after a dispute with its then-owners, left in 1986 to open his own coffee shop, which he named Il Giornale. He returned to Starbucks in August 1987 after buying the original company with the help of local investors. Starbucks
now has more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries worldwide.
“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 wrote in a letter addressed to past and present Starbucks employees. “Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.”
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