World's largest coffee retailer Starbucks will see its current chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz stepping down from his current role. The company's chief operating officer (COO) will move onto the new role.
According to a CNBC report, current COO Kevin Johnson will replace Schultz as CEO from April 3, 2017. This surprise move caused the stocks to tumble more than 10 percent on early trade, which later recovered as investors came to terms with the development.
However, the global coffee company announced that Schultz would remain in the company and would now focus on turning Starbucks' reserve-branded coffee bars into destination restaurants.
Schultz, who joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing, has successfully built the group into an iconic brand globally. Interestingly, this is not the first time that Schultz has stepped down from CEO's role as he had done so in 2000 to come back in 2008.
"As I focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson — our current president, COO, a seven-year board member and my partner in running every facet of Starbucks business over the last two years — has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer," Schultz said in a news release. This would help in continuing a profitable growth for the company, he added.
Schultz also lauded the contribution of the new CEO designate Kevin Johnson saying, "Kevin has been a wise and supportive resource for me." He also said that the last two fiscal years have been the best in the company's history in part because of the COO.
Meanwhile, grapevine was abuzz with possible transition of Schultz into political circles as he has been a supporter of President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Some see his decision as a precursor for pursuing his own presidential run.
Starbucks entered India in 2012 in partnership with Tata Global Beverages. This joint venture has since seen rapid scaling up with its store count reaching more than 84 locations in six cities in the country. The net sales of the company stood at Rs 235 crore from Indian operations during the last financial year.