Last month Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz hit back at President Trump’s executive order on refugee travel by revoking his promise to hire 10,000 veterans and instead offer those jobs to refugees.
The backlash via a boycott against Starbucks was swift and hard-hitting. Since then the company’s profits have tanked.
Now Schultz is stepping down from his position as CEO and will be replaced by the current COO.
But the question on everyone’s mind is whether this is retaliation by the board for his leftist agenda which hurt the company’s bottom line.
Some are speculating that this is a subtle move to position Schultz for a run against President Trump in 2020. Schultz was already rumored as a potential Democrat candidate in 2016.
Here’s more from DC Statesman…
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz caused a firestorm when he announced an initiative for Starbucks to hire 10,000 refugees. Many Americans were upset that Schultz was taking jobs away from Americans in order to make a political statement. Today we learned that Schultz will no longer serve as CEO, effective next month.
At the time of President Trump’s first travel ban executive order, Schultz sent a letter to all Starbucks employees that read in part:
“We have all been witness to the confusion, surprise and opposition to the Executive Order that President Trump issued on Friday, effectively banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, including refugees fleeing wars. I can assure you that our Partner Resources team has been in direct contact with the partners who are impacted by this immigration ban, and we are doing everything possible to support and help them to navigate through this confusing period.
We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination. There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business. And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”
Next month Schultz will step down and be replaced as CEO by Starbucks President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson. He will officially take the job on April 3rd. Schultz will stay with the company as executive chairman. In the announcement, Schultz said that he “will shift his focus to innovation, design, and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company’s social impact initiatives and focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation.”
After the refugees announcement a survey indicated the Starbucks brand was declining.
There are rumors that Schultz may be gearing up to challenge President Trump in 2020.