Howard Schultz steps aside as Starbucks CEO

Starbucks has announced that Kevin Johnson, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a seven-year member of the Starbucks Board of Directors, will expand his responsibilities and assume the role and responsibilities of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 3, 2017.

Also effective April 3, 2017, Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, will be appointed Executive Chairman and will shift his focus to innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company’s social impact initiatives. In this new role Schultz will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.

“Starbucks consistently outperforms the retail industry because our stores, our offerings and the experiences our partners create make us a destination,” Howard said in a statement. “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.”

As President and COO since March 2015, Kevin has led the company’s global operating businesses across all geographies as well as the core support functions of Starbucks supply chain, marketing, human resources, technology, and mobile and digital platforms. Kevin has been a Starbucks board member since 2009, and will continue to serve as a member of the Board.

Kevin’s career spans 33 years in the technology industry, which includes a 16-year career at Microsoft and a five-year tour as CEO of Juniper Networks. At Microsoft, he led worldwide sales and marketing and became the President of the Platforms Division. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Security Telecommunication Advisory Committee where he served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He joined the Starbucks board in 2009 and the management team in 2015.

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