Speed Reads

coffee breakup

Starbucks chair Howard Schultz steps down, sparking 2020 speculation

The man who built Starbucks from the ground(s) up is stepping down.

Howard Schultz is leaving his role as executive chair of the company, he told employees Monday, ending his nearly 40-year run behind the counter. Myron Ullman, J.C. Penney's former chairman and CEO, will replace Schultz on the board, per The New York Times.

Schultz started as Starbucks' director of operations and marketing in 1982, and served as its CEO from 1987 to 2000, per CNBC. He returned as CEO in 2008 before transitioning into the chairman role last year.

Through it all, Schultz aimed to create a company that fosters "respect and dignity" — values reflected in a note he left Monday on the wall of the chain's original Pike Place location, right next to the espresso bar he installed in 1987.

Some have cited Schultz as a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, a not-so-tall order in the age of Trump. When asked if he was hanging up his green apron to run for the White House, Schultz told the Times he's "deeply concerned" about the U.S. and plans to give back. But that could be through public service or just philanthropy.

Something to sip on.