SBUX (Starbucks, $56.64) former CEO and executive chairman, Howard Schultz, made announcements to depart from the company yesterday. Schultz bought the company in the 1980’s. With a net worth of 3.1 billion, things weren’t always easy for Shultz. In his early life, he was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in a city housing authority. His family of five was poor and saw an escape in sports such as football, baseball, and basketball. Though Shultz had a rough start, he took charge and has won many awards of excellence.
Howard Schultz has been nominated as the world’s most influential people by Times Magazine as well as achieving 16 years in a row on Fortune’s global list for fifth-most admired company. He Shultz told The Times,”One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet. I intend to think about a range of options and that could include public service.”
In his closing letter to his employees, he said,” Who could have imagined how far we have would travel together, from 11 stores in 1987 to more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries. But these numbers are not the true measures of our success. Starbucks changed the way millions of people drink coffee, this is true, but we also changed the people’s lives in communities around the world for the better.”
Starbucks has filled Schultz position with new vice chairwoman, Mellody Hobson. Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, was also the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation. Mellody Hobson was the first African-American woman to be the head of The Economic Club of Chicago.
I’m not talking about Pike Place, I’m talking about last week when two black men entered into a Starbucks in Philadelphia and had been arrested for “trespassing”.These two men were waiting for a friend and weren’t even able to use the bathroom because they didn’t make a make a purchase. All sound too familiar? Right when I thought we had enough of the race war for 3 years, now I can’t get a Dirty Chai without thinking that there have been black men arrested for waiting for someone to meet them for a cup of coffee? At this point, I cannot put myself in the store managers shoes and think he was just “doing his job”. There are hundreds to thousands of people who meet at Starbucks daily for business meetings, non-profit and activists events, but why did it have to come to this?
Viewing the market performance, SBUX (Starbucks) hasn’t been a very profitable stock for me to invest in (in my opinion). Silimar to TGT (Target), SBUX is more of a lifestyle brand than anything. And from recent price cuts to overall performance, it’s a little boring for my portfolio- but to each their own.
This event was very unfortunate and I hope the CEO, Kevin Johnson, will make an effort to meet the two black men and apologize to them for what they were wrongfully, and publically accused of. But as for me, I’ll continue to stick to my local coffee shops.