Starbucks CEO Schultz Stepping Down

Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ longtime chairman and chief executive officer, is stepping down effective April 3, 2017.

Kevin Johnson, currently the company’s president and chief operating officer and member of the board of directors, will become president and CEO.

Schultz will shift to become Starbucks’ executive chairman and will focus on innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company’s social impact initiatives. He will also continue as chairman of the board.

“As I focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer,” Schultz said. “This move ideally positions Starbucks to continue profitably growing our core business around the world into the future.”

As president and COO since March 2015, Johnson has led the company’s global operating businesses across all geographies, as well as the core support functions of Starbucks supply chain, marketing, human resources, technology and mobile and digital platforms. He has been a Starbucks board member since 2009, and will continue to serve as a member of the board.

Johnson’s career spans 33 years in the technology industry, which included a 16-year career at Microsoft and a five-year tour as CEO of Juniper Networks. At Microsoft, he led worldwide sales and marketing and became the president of the platforms division.

In 2008, he was appointed to the National Security Telecommunication Advisory Committee where he served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.