Starbucks CEO Tells Shareholders Who Support Traditional Marriage to Go Invest Somewhere Else
Looks like anti-gun Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is so hateful of anyone who supports traditional marriage that if they are shareholders in his own company he wants them to sell their stock and go invest somewhere else.
Think I am over stating? Not even a little bit. That is pretty much what he said at this year’s Starbucks annual meeting when a pro-traditional marriage stockholder stood up and voiced his displeasure over Schultz’ behavior.
At Starbucks’ annual meeting in Seattle on Wednesday a shareholder complained to the chief executive, Howard Schultz, that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage. Last year Starbucks announced its support for Washington’s state’s referendum backing gay marriage, and in response the National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott of the coffee chain.
“In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing,” said the shareholder, Tom Strobhar, whom the Huffington Post identifies at the founder of the anti-gay marriage Corporate Morality Action Center.
Was Schultz taken aback? Not in the least. He responded, “Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.”
At that point the audience interrupted in cheers and applause. Then Schultz concluded, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.” More cheers.
So, as far as Schultz is concerned, stockholders that are uncomfortable with him using the company to push his personal political agenda can get lost.
Remember, this is the same CEO who told customers who support the Second Amendment that he didn’t want them as customers. It was also the same company that started the ill-fated “let’s talk about race” campaign where it assumed that every white customer was an abject racist that needed a Starbucks barista to set them straight.