Howard D. Schultz

Starbucks: Howard Schultz to step down as CEO, focus on innovation

Starbucks: Howard Schultz to step down as CEO, focus on innovation

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down as CEO of the coffee chain he joined more than 30 years ago and transformed into a globally known brand.

Schultz will become executive chairman in April to focus on innovation such as high-end shops and social impact activities, the Seattle-based chain announced Thursday. Kevin Johnson, who was named president and chief operating officer last year, will be chief executive as of April 3.

Since returning as the company's CEO in 2008, Schultz is credited with turning around Starbucks' fortunes. He has overseen the expansion of the chain's food and beverage offerings and the growth of its popular loyalty program and mobile...

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