Howard Schultz was born to a German-Jewish family on July 19, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of ex-US Army trooper and then truck driver Fred Schultz, and his wife Elaine. With his younger sister, Ronnie, and brother, Michael, he grew up in the Canarsie Bayview Houses of the New York City Housing Authority. As Schultz’s family was poor, he saw an escape in sports such as baseball, football, and basketball.
Howard Schultz (born July 19, 1953) is an Jewish business magnate in the USA. He is the best known as the chairman and CEO of Starbucks and a former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics. Schultz co-founded Maveron, an investment group, in 1998 with Dan Levitan.
In 2006, Forbes magazine ranked Schultz as the 354th richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $1.1 billion.
He went to Canarsie High School, from which he graduated in 1971. In high school, Schultz excelled at sports and was awarded an athletic scholarship to Northern Michigan University – the first person in his family to go to college. A member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Schultz received his bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1975.
He has two children, named Eliahu Jordan, who goes by Jordan, and Addison.
After graduating, he worked as a salesperson for Xerox Corporation.
In 1979 he became a general manager for Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, Hammarplast. In 1981, Schultz visited a client of Hammarplast, a fledgling coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle which he joined as the Director of Marketing a year later. On a buying trip to Milan, Italy for Starbucks, Schultz noted that coffee bars existed on practically every street. He learned that they not only served excellent espresso, they also served as meeting places or public squares; they were a big part of Italy’s societal glue, and there were 200,000 of them in the country.
On his return, Howard Schultz tried to persuade the owners (including Jerry Baldwin) to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. After a successful pilot of the cafe concept, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn’t want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Howard Schultz started his own coffee shop in 1985, named ‚Il Giornale‘ after the Milanese newspaper. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet’s Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Howard Schultz and Il Giornale for $3.8 million.
Howard Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name, and aggressively expanded its reach across the United States. Howard Schultz’s keen insight in real estate and his hard-line focus on growth drove him to expand the company rapidly. Howard Schultz did not believe in franchising, and made a point of having Starbucks retain ownership of every domestic outlet. Howard Schultz also went 50-50 with Magic Johnson on stores in minority communities.
Howard Schultz is a significant stakeholder in Jamba Juice.
Howard Schultz authored the book „Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time“ with Dori Jones Yang in 1997. His second book „Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul“ with Joanne Gordon, was published 2011.
On January 8, 2008 Howard Schultz regained his status as CEO of Starbucks after an eight-year hiatus. At this time, Howard Schultz was earning a total compensation of $9,740,471, which included a base salary of $1,190,000, and options granted of $7,786,105.
Speaking to CNBC in February 2009 about his concerns over the global economic crisis, Schultz that „the place that concerns us the most is western Europe, and specifically the UK„, which he considered to be in a „spiral“, expressing concern with the levels of unemployment and consumer confidence in the country.
Lord Mandelson, the then-UK Business Secretary, responded saying that Britain was „not spiralling, although I’ve noticed Starbucks is in a great deal of trouble“, and suggesting that Schultz was projecting his own company’s trouble in the United Kingdom onto the wider national economy. Mandelson was later overheard at a drinks reception, saying: „Why should I have this guy running down the country? Who the fuck is he? How the hell are [Starbucks] doing?“
An official comment from Starbucks read that „It is a difficult economic situation in the US and around the world. Please be assured that Starbucks has no intention of criticising the economic situation in the UK. We are all in this together and as a global business we are committed to each and every market we serve.“
In 1998, Schultz was awarded the „Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award“ from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for „playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel“.
In 1999, Schultz was awarded the „National Leadership Award“ for philanthropic and educational efforts to battle AIDS.
The recipient of the 2004 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, presented to him from the University of Manitoba for his outstanding success and commendable conduct of Starbucks.
In 2007 he received the FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award.
On March 29, 2007, Schultz accepted the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award for Ethics in Business at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. The same night, he delivered the Frank Cahill Lecture in Business Ethics.
Schultz became Fortune Magazine’s „2011 Businessperson of the Year“ for his initiatives in the economy and job market.
Schultz is the former owner of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. During his tenure as team owner, he was criticized for his naivete and propensity to run the franchise as a business rather than a sports team. Schultz feuded with big name star Gary Payton, feeling that Payton disrespected him and the team by not showing up to the first day of training camp in 2002.
In July 2006, Schultz sold the team to a group of businessmen from Oklahoma City for $350 million. It was speculated that the new owners would move the team to their city some time after the 2006-2007 NBA season. On July 3, 2008, the City of Seattle reached a settlement with the new ownership group and the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City. The sale to the out-of-state owners considerably damaged Schultz‘ popularity in Seattle. In a local newspaper poll, Schultz was judged „most responsible“ for the team leaving the city. Howard Schultz filed a lawsuit against Sonics chairman Clay Bennett, in April 2008, to rescind the July 2006 sale based on fraud and intentional misrepresentation. However, Schultz dropped the lawsuit in August 2008. When Bennett purchased the Sonics and its sister franchise in the WNBA, the Seattle Storm, for $350 million, he agreed to a stipulation that he would make a „good-faith best effort“ for one year to keep both teams in Seattle. He has since sold the Storm to four Seattle women who will keep the team in Seattle.
- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: 3 Traits of a Business Renegade (forbes.com)
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- Howard Schultz for president? (bizjournals.com)
- How Starbucks Taps 7 Tech Trends (informationweek.com)
- Howard Schultz Was One Of Jamba Juice’s Early Investors, Now He’s Competing Against Them (businessinsider.com)
- 2-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: Starbucks? (dailyfinance.com)
- Why hasn’t Howard Schultz told the real „Onward“ story? (starbucksgossip.typepad.com)
- Howard Schultz, Five Bucks, and Starbucks! (timesunion.com)
- OPEN THREAD conversation-starter: Howard Schultz for president? (PLUS: Halloween at Starbucks) (starbucksgossip.typepad.com)