Starbucks’ CEO Is Stepping Down, and Investors Are Scared

In the business world, there are a few select companies with CEOs that are so famous, they’re practically celebrities.

Elon Musk, for example, is the charismatic CEO of Tesla Motors. Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple, and left a legacy so big, they made two movies about him. Heck, even Jobs’ replacement Tim Cook is famous enough to get people to spend six figures just to have lunch with him.

Starbucks, however, has a CEO who’s not just famous for creating a coffee company with tens of thousands of worldwide locations. Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, is also known for his outspoken, left-leaning views on social issues that affect his thousands of employees, including healthcare, gay rights, and other important topics. Schultz made Starbucks an immensely profitable place where anyone can work and earn affordable healthcare, and his shareholders have reaped tremendous rewards as the stock became a marketing darling.

Now, after three decades at the company, Schultz is stepping down next year and handing the reigns to his successor,  president and board member Kevin Johnson. Unfortunately, Starbucks investors are none too pleased about this change in leadership.

Howard Schultz turned Starbucks into a worldwide coffee chain and a stock market spectacle.


Starbucks is worth well over 17,000% more than when it first launched on the stock market, or 10,000% more than when I should have bought into it as employee #1271241.

Under Schultz’s leadership, the company saw its share of ups and downs on the market in recent years due to waning consumer demand.

jannoon028 /
jannoon028 /

Their stock is up ever so slightly since the beginning of the year, but investor sentiment is fairly split on the company’s future. Some feel the company is still going strong, while others think the company has seen better days.

Now that Schultz is ready to leave the company as CEO and serve only on the board, investors are panicked about the future of Starbucks.

arindambanerjee /
arindambanerjee /

Starbucks stock went down by over 3.5% after Charles Schultz announced his successor as investors panicked about the company’s future performance without him. Schultz has spoken about grooming his replacement for a while and his life after Starbucks, so his announcement doesn’t come as a shock. Yet investors remain uncertain, causing the stock price to decrease.

Schultz will still have an office in the Starbucks building after he steps down as CEO. His presence will still be felt as he continues to talk about social issues important to him and his workers. Now that Kevin Johnson will be running the company, however, no one knows if he will be able to lead Starbucks into the future…or struggle to stay afloat.

Share this story with your friends below, and maybe think twice about buying overpriced coffee.


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