Starbucks Corp. said Monday that Howard Schultz is departing as executive chairman on June 26, at which time Myron E. “Mike” Ullman 3rd will step up as chairman.
Kevin Johnson continues as chief executive officer of Starbucks.
Starbucks also said that Mellody Hobson has become vice chair, effective upon Schultz’s retirement.
Ullman, a seasoned veteran of retailing, having led J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Macy’s Inc. and the DFS Group, among other top roles in the industry, has been a director at Starbucks since January 2003.
Among some of the other top jobs in retail he’s held, Ullman served
Ullman’s extraordinary career took an unusual turn when after serving as chairman and ceo of Penney’s and relinquishing the reins to Ron Johnson in 2011, he was asked to return for a second go-round in 2013 to rescue the company from Johnson’s ill-conceived near-fatal reinvention program. Ullman successfully stopped the financial bleeding at Penney’s at the time. Ullman also serves on the board of Taubman Centers Inc.
During his four decades as ceo and chairman, Schultz grew Starbucks from 11 stores to more than 28,000 in 77 countries. Aside from the remarkable expansion, Schultz demonstrated leadership by deciding to provide an unusually high level of benefits to his workers, both full and part-timers, including comprehensive healthcare, stock ownership and free college tuition.
“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,” Schultz wrote in a letter addressed on Monday to past and present Starbucks partners. “Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.”