After 13 years at Starbucks Corp and five years at the helm of the company, CEO Kevin Johnson has announced his retirement.
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Johnson will transition from CEO on April 4, but he will continue to work with Starbucks as a partner and special consultant to the company and board through September.
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz will return to the company he helped build as interim CEO, while the board searches for a long-term replacement. This will be the third time Shultz has led the coffee giant.
“As I make this transition, we are very fortunate to have a founder who is able to step in on an interim basis, giving the board time to further explore potential candidates and make the right long-term succession decision for the company,” said Johnson. “I have enjoyed every minute of the job and am proud of what we have achieved together.”
Starbucks has formed a working committee to oversee the search process and has already come up with a strong group of potential candidates.
As interim CEO, Schultz will focus on building an innovation framework and guiding the next permanent CEO of Starbucks. The Starbucks founder is volunteering his time and will receive $1 of total compensation.
“When you love something, you have a deep sense of responsibility to help when called. Although I did not plan to return to Starbucks, I know the company must transform once again to meet a new and exciting future where all of our stakeholders mutually flourish,” said Schultz.
Investors can expect an update during the 2022 Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled for later today.
By Adam Eckert
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