Howard Schultz, the man credited with transforming Starbucks from a small regional coffee house into a global coffee empire, has officially stepped down from his role on the company’s board.
On Wednesday, Schultz, 63, announced he had submitted his resignation, effective immediately. He said that while the past two decades have been an incredible journey, he believed it was time to step aside and focus on other priorities.
In announcing his departure from the company, Schultz paid tribute to the power of a business model built around relationships, saying that while there are many types of companies in the world today, Starbucks is unique in that it has achieved success by prioritizing human connection.
He also highlighted the importance of the company’s mission to inspire and nurture a human connection, and thanked Starbucks for its “unwavering commitment” to making the world a better place through its daily work.
The company has seen success under Schultz’s leadership, expanding from 6,000 stores to 28,000 in 77 countries.
Schultz, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, revealed that he has plans to stay connected with the company, saying he will continue to serve in an advisory capacity when needed.
He also noted that he is looking forward to supporting “the next generation of Starbucks leaders” in their efforts to create a smarter, more equitable, and more profitable global business.
With the departure of one of its most influential figures, Starbucks will no doubt be facing some significant changes in the coming months and years. But thanks to Schultz’s years of hard work, the company is well-placed to move into the future with confidence.