Howard Schultz stepping down as Starbucks' executive chairman

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to step down

Howard Schultz announced Monday that he would retire as the executive chairman of Starbucks, and hinted that he might run for president and challenge President Trump in 2020.

Mr Schultz, who will become chairman emeritus, also used his position to speak out in social debates.

Schultz, 64, has been serving as executive chairman of Starbucks since stepping down as chief executive in April of a year ago and handing over to Kevin Johnson.

Schultz said he had initially meant to announce his retirement last month, but put it on hold after two black men were arrested while sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks in April.

There has been speculation that Schultz is retiring from Starbucks to attempt a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

During his tenure with the firm, Starbucks grew from 11 outlets to more than 28,000 and its share price rose by 21,000%, the company said.

Schultz told the New York Times that he didn't want to fuel headline, but he admitted for the first time that he was considering seeking public office. "For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world", said Schultz, 64.

"I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service", he said. "But I'm a long way from making any decisions about the future".

Schultz was known for aligning himself and Starbucks with issues like race and jobs for underprivileged youth - even when those efforts fell flat, like the "Race Together" campaign that encouraged workers to talk about race with customers.

Myron Ullman, the former chairman and CEO of retail giant J.C. Penney, will replace Schultz as executive chairman of the board.

In the meantime, he plans on working on his family foundation, and writing a book about the social responsibility companies have.

Most recently, he was involved in steering the company through an anti-bias training program that was kickstarted after a Philadelphia cafe manager's call to police resulted in the arrests of two black men who were waiting for a friend.

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