Business titan, Howard Schultz who turned a local coffee chain into a global behemoth is stepping from his role of Executive Chairman at Starbucks. The Board of Directors has appointed Myron E. Ullman, former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney as the new chairman.
It is speculated that Schultz is considering a run for president in 2020. He was quoted in media saying, "For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country—the growing division at home and our standing in the world."
He further stated that “One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet." However, Schultz has denied the rumors by sharing, “I want to be of service to our country, but that doesn’t mean I need to run for public office to accomplish that.”
Schultz's resignation comes at a time when the company is grappling to revitalize same-store sales in the U.S., a trend that has contributed to a nearly 12 percent decline in its stock over the past year. Shares of the company were down almost 1 percent in after Schultz announced his resignation.
Recently Starbucks' image took a hit after two African Americans were arrested in one of its cafes in Philadelphia after asking to use the restroom. The company responded quickly and closed last week to provide anti-bias training to 175,000 employees.
Under Schultz's leadership, the company's stock has grown 21,000 percent since its initial public offering in 1992. He currently owns 37.8 million shares of Starbucks.