Starbucks is sliding after Howard Schultz steps down as chairman

Starbucks' Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman ending an era

Starbucks' Howard Schultz has announced that he will step down as the coffee giant's executive chairman at the end of the month. CNBC adds that he will serve as "chairman emeritus".

Last April, Schultz transitioned from CEO to executive chairman, where he oversaw the company's social impact initiatives.

Last week, the company closed its United States stores for several hours for bias awareness training, one of the measures it promised after the men in Philadelphia were arrested as they waited for an associate but hadn't bought anything.

The company said Myron "Mike" Ullman would be the new chairman of the board, upon Schultz's retirement.

Schultz's announcement triggered immediate speculation that he may consider entering politics - including running for president in 2020. According to the New York Times, Schulze told Starbucks' board of his intentions to retire from the company about a year ago.

"I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines". He had endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before the last presidential election and had sometimes deflected questions about whether he would run for office.

Speaking to CNN about the closure, Schultz said "we realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores who may have a problem".

'For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world'.

Schultz joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing and helped transform the Seattle-based company into a global behemoth with more than 28,000 outlets in 77 countries. "For years I've had a dream to build a different kind of company, one that has the potential to enhance lives and endure long after I was gone".

Starbucks has also been a leader in workers' benefits under Schultz.

Starbucks shares closed up 0.28 percent at $57.07 in regular Monday trading on the Nasdaq, but were down 1 percent at $56.50.

Schultz's departure came weeks after Starbucks revamped its store policies following the arrests of two customers at a Philadelphia store location.

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