Starbucks chief Schultz retiring, may run for president

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to step down

"I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for", said Schultz.

Howard Schultz announced Monday that he will no longer serve as the executive chairman of Starbucks. He gave an extended interview to the New York Times in advance, with an interview on CNBC scheduled for Tuesday morning. "For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world", said Schultz, 64.

A prominent critic of President Donald Trump, Schultz has always been rumored to have political aspirations.

He has spoken frequently about race, and Starbucks has taken progressive stances on social issues - including gay marriage, immigration and President Trump's travel ban.

Schultz is seen as the architect of the modern Starbucks, having overseen its expansion from a single coffee shop that opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971.

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Starbucks was one of the first United States retailers to offer health insurance to its workers. In March, the company said it reached gender and race pay equity for all USA employees.

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz presents during the Starbucks 2016 Investor Day meeting, in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. He is leaving at a tumultuous moment in Starbucks' history. The company's subsequent reaction - a series of policy changes and last week's high-profile closure of 8,000 US stores to provide anti-racial bias training to 175,000 employees - marked what Schultz called the start of a new era at Starbucks. But he said, "We need to have the conversation".

"At some point, there becomes a time when you have to have faith in your current management team going forward", Yarbrough said.

Schultz has said his vision for Starbucks was largely inspired by the coffee bars he saw on a visit to Milan many years ago.

In an email to Starbucks employees obtained by CNNMoney, Schultz did not address a future in politics. As I prepare to step away, I'd like to humbly remind you not to lose sight of what matters most: "your fellow partners and our customers".

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