Howard Schultz is leaving Starbucks after more than three decades amid rumors of a potential presidential run.
Starbucks has long combined business with social causes under Schultz’s leadership.
Schultz’s plans to exit the company may have influenced how Starbucks responded to the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia location in April. He had reportedly planned to leave the company for a year.
Howard Schultz is out at Starbucks.
As rumors swirl regarding Schultz’s political aspirations, the chairman’s last few years at Starbucks can be seen in a different light. Can Schultz’s aggressive approach to social justice be separated from rumors he is thinking about launching his political career?
Schultz has long argued that business and social issues can go hand in hand.
In 2011, Schultz encouraged people not to donate to political campaigns until the government addressed national debt. In 2015, he spearheaded the “Race Together” campaign to address police brutality and racism. In a 2015 New York Times op-ed celebrating bipartisan leadership, Schultz said he wasn’t running for office, “despite the encouragement of others.”
Since President Donald Trump’s rise to political power, Starbucks and Schultz have become more outspoken on certain social issues.
In September 2016, Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton for president — his first time publicly endorsing a candidate.
That December, he announced plans to step down as CEO, saying he would instead be focusing on Starbucks’ “social missions” as chairman. In January 2017, he blasted Trump’s attempt to bar refugees from entering the United States, inspiring boycott threats from the right. In August 2017, after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, he wrote a piece in the Financial Times about national identity.
However, the most high-profile statement on social issues that Starbucks has made is likely its most recent one.
Starbucks’ closures and racial-bias training
In April, footage of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia location of the coffee chain went viral. Employees called the police when the men refused to leave the Starbucks after asking to use the restroom without having purchased any drinks.
The incident sparked a national conversation about how people of color — specifically black people — are treated at restaurants and retailers. And, while other incidents made headlines in the following weeks, no company reacted with such intensity as Starbucks.
Starbucks announced plans to close its more than 8,000 locations in the …read more
Source:: Business Insider