Schultz returns to c.e.o. of Starbucks

by Staff
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SEATTLE — Starbucks Coffee Co. announced Howard Schultz, chairman of the board of directors, has added the role of chief executive officer. Mr. Schultz replaced Jim Donald, effective immediately.

"Howard is the architect of the Starbucks brands and the visionary behind the unique customer experience that is at the heart of this remarkable company’s success," said Craig Weatherup, chairman of the Starbucks board’s nominating and corporate governance committee. "Given what the board believes needs to be done, there is no better person to drive change and ensure that Starbucks is positioned to innovate, execute and relentlessly focus the entire organization on the customer."

Mr. Schultz was c.e.o. of the company from 1987 to 2000. The company went public during that time and experienced U.S. and international growth. As chairman since this time, Mr. Schultz has focused on the company’s global strategies and expansion.

"I am enthusiastic about returning to the role of chief executive officer for the long term and excited to lead Starbucks and its dedicated partners to even greater heights of achievement on a global basis," Mr. Schultz said. "We must address the challenges we face, and we know what has to be done. Put simply, we are recommitting ourselves to what has made Starbucks and the Starbucks Experience so unique: ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality coffee in the world; the relentless focus on the customer; the trust we have built with our people, and the entrepreneurial risk-taking, innovation and creativity that are the hallmarks of our success."

Mr. Schultz said he will work to improve the state of the U.S. business, slow the pace of U.S. store openings while closing some underperforming U.S. stores, increase the emotional attachment with customers, streamline management to better support customer-focused initiatives and reallocate resources to key value drivers, and increase expansion and profitability of Starbucks outside the U.S.

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