In 2000, Schultz, who had helped the once small coffee company grow into a global behemoth, walked away, citing exhaustion. Eight years later, he was lured out of retirement because he believed Starbucks was drifting.
Today, Starbucks said Schultz is stepping aside again, this time to become executive chairman. In his place, president and COO Kevin Johnson will step up to the big chair effective April 3, 2017. Johnson has been on Starbucks’ board of directors for seven years and on the management team since 2015.
In his new role, Schultz will focus his efforts on expanding the company’s premium brand, Starbucks Reserve.