Starbucks Corporation has confirmed Howard Schultz will remain as interim CEO until Q1 2023 while the retailer’s board searches for a new leader from outside the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. Schultz noted that the company now “requires a different type of leader,” in an interview with the publication.
The company hopes to choose a new CEO by fall, ahead of the holiday season, to allow the candidate to work alongside Schultz as part of a full immersion into the company. Schultz, Starbucks’ founder, will remain on the company’s board following the transition.
Schultz returned to Starbucks as interim CEO in April 2022 following the five-year tenure of Kevin Johnson. This is the third time Schultz has served as Starbucks’ CEO, a role he held from 1986 to 2000, and from 2008 to 2017. Johnson plans to work with the company as a special consultant and remain on its board until September 2022.
“In the months I’ve been back, I’ve traveled the country and met with thousands of Starbucks retail store partners and visited all five of our roasting plants, and I’ve learnt firsthand about the unique challenges confronting the company today,” said Schultz during a May 3 earnings call. “I’ve also experienced the passionate relationship our Starbucks Corp. partners have with the company and the enduring emotional connection our customers have to the Starbucks brand.”
Starbucks is dealing with a growing unionization movement in many of its cafés, to which the company has exhibited strong resistance, leading to accusations of U.S. labor law violations through anti-union conduct.