Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks Coffee, will reportedly step down as the company’s executive chairman on June 26.
“I’ll be thinking about a range of options for myself, from philanthropy to public service, but I’m a long way from knowing what the future holds,” the business leader wrote in a memo sent to employees on Monday.
“Myron E. Ullman, former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, was named chair, while Mellody Hobson, president and director of Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Investments, will be named vice chair,” reports CNBC.
Schultz stepped down as Starbucks’ longtime CEO in 2017, clearing the way for Kevin Johnson as his successor.
“I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for,” said Schultz.
Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.”
Just days before announcing his departure, Schultz — the subject of much speculation about running for the White House in 2020 — blamed President Trump for America’s “racial divide.”
“Having said that, the racial divide and the inequities that exist between people of color and Caucasians in America is a problem that’s existed for quite some time and I think — we have to ask ourselves a very important question and that is, what kind of country do we want to live in?” Schultz told CNN.
“And from my perspective, we want to live in a country in which we love and respect every American.”
Schultz’s comments came in the wake of Starbucks closing over 8,000 locations for “racial bias” training.