Howard Schultz stepping down from Starbucks, doesn't rule out presidential run

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to step down

Modal Trigger Howard Schultz Getty Images

Howard Schultz, pictured in 2017, is stepping down as executive chairman of Starbucks as of June 26.

Just days before announcing his departure, Schultz - the subject of much speculation about running for the White House in 2020 - blamed President Trump for America's "racial divide".

Howard Schultz will step down as chairman of Starbucks later this month, he told employees Monday.

Mr. Schultz, who grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, said watching his father, a World War II veteran who became a truck driver and later a taxi driver, struggle to make enough money to pay for basics had led him to offer complete health benefits for full- and part-time employees and their domestic partners, a first for such a chain.

Schultz has helped Starbucks navigate one of its most tumultuous periods this spring as the company was in the headlines for the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia store, an incident Schultz described as deeply embarrassing. He eventually opened his own coffee shop and purchased the Starbucks brand.

Schultz elevated the concept of Starbucks as the third place between home and work: a comfortable, welcoming environment that provides uplifting experiences, community and human connection.

Schultz, added: "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". "But I'm a long way from making any decisions about the future".

Schultz, who handed off the chief executive role at Starbucks a year ago to Kevin Johnson, will have the title of chairman emeritus.

"Ullman, former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, was named chair, while Mellody Hobson, president and director of Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Investments, will be named vice chair", reports CNBC.

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

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