SBUX: Howard Schultz is BACK
(Former Founder and 2-time CEO is back as interim CEO)
A quick memo this morning, as I perused the headlines and found that Howard Schultz, founder and two-time CEO of Starbucks, will be coming back to the company, serving as interim CEO until the fall, as Kevin Johnson announces his retirement. The transition will be effective on April 4th, and Howard is expected to assist with succession planning. I am a big fan of Schultz, having read both ‘Pour Your Heart into It’ and ‘Onward’ in my younger years.
Why is Kevin Retiring?
Given the timing of the announcement, as the unionisation effort heats up the US (discussed in “SBUX: Union, What Union?”), one wonders why he decided to retire now. The announcement highlighted that this was somewhat premeditated and not the direct outcome of union pressure. Although, I suspect it might have been a factor. After 13-years of service, Johnson “signalled to the Board that as the global pandemic neared an end, [he] would be considering retirement from Starbucks” as early as 2021. Succession planning had be…