Starbucks Exec Steps Down from Board

( – Coffee chain Starbucks announced on September 13 that its former longtime leader and CEO Howard Schultz officially stepped down from the company’s board of directors. With this decision, he fully exited the Seattle-based company, after he returned in 2022 to help it with operational and labor challenges.

In a statement, Starbucks said that Schultz’s departure was planned, and thanked him for his commitment to the company. The former CEO ended his third tenure in this position in March and was replaced by Reckitt Benckiser CEO Laxman Narasimhan.

Schultz’s history is considered a successful one as he built the company from a local coffee shop into one of the most famous global chains in the world. The coffee giant emphasized that the 70-year-old former CEO won’t hold any fiduciary or operation role from now.

In a separate statement, Schultz said his main focus will now be his family foundation, as well as numerous entrepreneurial and philanthropic investments. He also noted he will provide his full support to the next generation of Starbucks’ leaders to steward the company into the future not only as a chairman emeritus but also as a customer.

Schultz returned to Starbucks’s CEO and board roles in April 2022, after then-board director and chief executive Kevin Johnson decided to step down after leading the coffee chain for five years. Back then, Starbucks said in a statement it called back Schultz to help steer the company at one of its biggest inflection points. While the company also said that Schultz would be an interim CEO, it didn’t detail how long this would be.

According to different reports, Schultz is still one of Starbucks’ main shareholders. In a September 13 security filing, the company said it would keep providing him and his spouse with security after his last CEO role, and noted that it would reimburse Schultz for his health-insurance premiums. The coffee chain’s shares declined a couple of hours after announcing Schultz’s departure.

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