Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks, is stepping down from the role, effective April 3, 2017.
He will become executive chairman of the company, with current COO Kevin Johnson slated to be the next CEO. Schultz has seen Starbucks grow exponentially — when he joined the company in 1982 as its director of operations and marketing, Starbucks had just four stores. Johnson joined the Starbucks board of directors in 2009, and became COO in 2015; previously, he was CEO of Juniper Networks and president of the platforms division at Microsoft. When the news came out on Thursday, Starbucks shares dropped about 4 percent in after hours trading, CNBC reports.