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Howard Schultz returns to lead Starbucks on interim basis

Howard Schultz
Posted at 9:27 AM, Mar 16, 2022

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz returns to lead the company on an interim basis after the coffee giant's current CEO announced his retirement.

President and CEO Kevin Johnson said he would retire next month after five years as CEO and 13 at Starbucks.

Starbucks made the announcement Wednesday ahead of its annual meeting.

Investors cheered the news.

Starbucks shares jumped 5% in premarket trading.

Johnson, a former executive at Microsoft and Juniper Networks, succeeded Schultz as CEO in 2017.

Johnson, 61, said he told the company's board last year that he was considering retirement.

His successor was projected to be chief operating officer Roz Brewer, but he left Starbucks last February to become the top executive at Walgreens, the Associated Press reported.

In a press release, the company said Schultz would be compensated $1 as he leads the company.

“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,” Schultz said.

While under Schultz, the company grew from 11 stores to more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries.

According to the AP, in 2000, he stepped down as CEO and became the company’s chairman. Eight years later, he returned as CEO before stepping down again in 2017. He became the company’s chairman emeritus in 2018.