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Howard Schultz      

Executive Chairman & Former CEO of Starbucks; Former Owner of the Seattle SuperSonics

Howard Schultz, an American businessman and author, is recognized for his significant influence in the global coffee industry. His journey in the coffee realm began in 1982 when he joined Starbucks, eventually opening Il Giornale, a specialty coffeeshop that later merged with the Starbucks brand. Schultz served as the chairman and CEO of Starbucks in multiple tenures, notably from 1986 to 2000 and 2008 to 2017. His leadership saw Starbucks establish a large network of stores, becoming the largest coffee-house chain in the world. Schultz's savvy business strategies, such as taking the company public in 1992, capitalized on a $271 million valuation to double their store count.

Despite his success in the corporate world, Schultz faced considerable challenges, such as during the 2008 financial crisis when he returned as CEO and led a mass firing of executives and employees. Nevertheless, his resilience and business acumen saw him navigate these hurdles, consolidating his legacy as a formidable business leader. Schultz's contributions to the business literature are significant, with four books under his name. Beyond the corporate sphere, he owned the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team from 2001 to 2006, signaling his interest and involvement in the sports industry.

Schultz's affluence and influence extend to the socio-political realm. On several occasions, he publicly considered running for the U.S. presidential elections as an independent candidate, reflecting his active engagement in domestic politics. Known for his neoliberal and socially liberal yet fiscally moderate stance, Schultz also contributes to philanthropic endeavors. He established the Schultz Family Foundation to assist military veterans and combat youth unemployment, further demonstrating his commitment to societal issues. His appearance before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 2023 showcases his willingness to engage in public discourse on critical societal matters.


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Starbucks is at an all-time high -- an amazing comeback since Howard Schultz returned in 2008. And he's done it by rewarding employees too.

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