Howard Schultz – From Rags To Riches: The Story Of Starbucks’ CEO
He was born in Brooklyn, New York. His childhood was not easy. His father did various manual jobs to earn some money for his family. This money, of course, was little, amounting to about $20,000 a year and not enough to cover the needs of three children and two adults.
However, Schultz always speaks well of his father despite the hardships they went through as a family. As he has said about his father, he was hardworking and honest and spent time with his children on weekends. However, at some point, he had also spoken publicly about his father’s dark sides and abusive behavior. He remembers that when his father had an accident and could not work, the family had a serious financial problem. His mother at that time also could not work because she was seven months pregnant. All the bills had gone unpaid, and the family had no support.
Schultz was the first in his family with a college degree. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University. For this reason, his parents were very proud of him. Then he got to work. Before joining Starbucks, he worked at Xerox for three years in sales and marketing. He was then placed in a staff position at a housewares company.
When Schultz started working for Starbucks in 1982 as a manager, the company had only four stores. The change he wanted to make in his life and find his way in business came after a trip to Italy. There, he liked the way people had their meeting points at the espresso bars.
That’s when he decided to quit Starbucks and start his own coffee company. He named the company II Giornale. However, it seems that his relationship with Starbucks is not going to end so easily. After a few years, specifically in 1987, he returned to Starbucks intending to purchase the company, which at the time had a presence in 17 locations. He also assumed the position of CEO.
The development path of the company continued in the following years. Schultz implemented several innovative initiatives, and in between, the company was criticized for racist behavior. In recent years, Starbucks has established a presence in more than 70 countries while employing almost 350,000 workers.
Schultz serves as an interim CEO at Starbucks since 2022. He attributes the success of Starbucks to teamwork and not just his efforts. However, much of Starbucks’ success is due to Schultz, who contributed to the company’s global growth. He has collected numerous awards for his business achievements. Some of them are the Distinguished Leadership Award from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Business Ethics.
He is one of the wealthiest people in the USA, with a fortune exceeding 4 billion dollars. In April 2023, Laxman Narasimhan will take over as CEO of Starbucks.
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