Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) chairman and CEO Howard Schultz has announced on Thursday that he will step down as chief operating officer Kevin Johnson will replace Schultz as CEO effective April 3rd, 2017. Schultz made sure that investors know he is only stepping down, not leaving the company.
“As I focus on the next wave of retail innovation, I am delight that Kevin Johnson – our current president, COO, a seven-year board member and my partner in running every facet of Starbucks business over the last two years – has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer. This move ideally positions Starbucks to continue profitably growing our core business around the world into the future,” Schultz said in a news release.
Starbucks had opened a flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle 2014. These locations are designed to be much larger than traditional Starbucks cafes where smaller batch roasting allows people to enjoy “rare and exotic” Reserve coffees. “This is an opportunity for us to elevate food,” Schultz reported back in July. “This will once again reaffirm Starbucks’ leadership in all things coffee.”
Schultz had previously vacated the role of CEO previously from 1987 to 2000, where he returned to the position in 2008. “It is obvious that he thinks Starbucks is in a good place,” restaurant industry analyst from NPD Group, Bonnie Riggs had said to CNBC. “He stepped back in when they were struggling and most definitely turned the concept around. HE can now move on to other areas of interest, but I have no doubt should they falter, he would jump back in.”