Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to step down after anti-Trump vow to hire 10,000 refugees backfired


Howard Schultz, the current CEO of Starbucks, is stepping down from his role at the giant coffee chain next month.

The move comes after his vow to hire thousands refugees in response to President Donald Trump's first travel ban hurt customer sentiment and dented sales.

Trump supporters have called for a boycott of the chain since January 29, when Schultz vowed to hire 10,000 refugees over five years.

In the announcement that he was stepping down, Schultz said he 'will shift his focus to 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' and 'focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation.'

Schultz has always been vocal about the need for greater sensitivity in balancing profit margins while advancing socio-economic conscientiousness. 

 He was also a public Clinton supporter and prominent democrat, and even considered as a running mate for the Democratic nominee at one point.

Schultz in a letter to employees said the promise of the American Dream was 'being called into question' and that 'the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack.' 

Almost immediately consumer perception levels took a hit as measured by YouGov BrandIndex's Buzz score, falling by two-thirds between January 29 and February 13.

The same company also noted that the data around this boycott is different because both the measures of consumers' sentiment towards companies and their willingness to purchase from those brands are declining.

At the time, analysts at Credit Suisse said the coffee giant's move had a negative impact on recent sales, and could continue to hurt them in the near future.

Schultz, with an estimated net worth of $3.1billion, will remain at Starbucks as executive chairman and will focus on strengthening the company's high-end coffee shops.  One member of the Board of Directors bluntly told SuperStation95 that Schultz new position means "Schultz has been told to look busy, but do nothing.  His political zealotry has badly impacted our company and the less he is seen and heard, the better."

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