Starbucks has announced that its current president and CEO, Kevin Johnson, will retire – effective 4 April. Howard Schultz, who was the coffee chain’s CEO prior to Johnson, will serve as interim CEO.
Johnson is stepping down after 13 years with the company. He first joined Starbucks in 2009 as a director before being promoted to president and COO in 2015, and president and CEO in 2017.
Schultz will serve as the company’s interim CEO until a suitable replacement is found. Starbucks says Schultz is “singularly qualified,” having served as the company’s CEO in 1987-2000 and 2008-2017. He will also rejoin the company’s board of directors.
Mellody Hobson, independent Starbucks board of directors chair, said: “Kevin and the entire executive team stepped up to the challenge of the pandemic and navigated one of the most difficult periods in modern history. The economic certainty provided to partners during the early months of the Covid shut down, as well as during mandatory quarantines, underscores our core values and will be an enduring legacy for the company.”
She continued: “As the company navigates the aftermath of the pandemic and socio-economic forces impacting the lives of all our stakeholders, Howard will reinforce the company’s culture, underscoring the organisation’s commitment to innovating and executing on our core purpose and reason for being: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”