Starbucks has been plastered across headlines recently after the company closed all its stores last week for a social justice-oriented ‘diversity’ training. Now Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Shultz, the man responsible for the well-known coffeehouse, has stepped down from his post.

Word is that Shultz has decided to prepare a run for political office, possibly the presidency.

From The New York Times:

“I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines,” he told The New York Times. “For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world.”

“One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back,” he continued. “I’m not exactly sure what that means yet.”

Asked directly if he was considering running for president, he said: “I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service. But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”

He announced last year that he would step down from his post, but delayed the move after police arrested two black men at a Philadelphia store for loitering. This incident prompted the chain to close and put staff through “color brave” training. Starbucks changed its policy and now allows people to stay in the stores even if they don’t purchase anything.

Schultz built Starbucks from the bottom up. He also didn’t have a problem wading into social issues. After Trump announced a “travel ban,” Starbucks announced they’d hire refugees. The company also made it a priority to hire veterans. Schultz even “raised waged”, paying employees well above minimum wage. Other incentives include expanded health benefits and college tuition assistance.

Schultz’s name has popped up as a possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to challenge President Donald Trump. There are quite a few articles from the last year in the The Washington Post propping up Schultz, like this one from September 2017. The article said “Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate.” Aaron Blake wrote:

Schultz spoke with The Washington Post at a job fair for young people on Wednesday, and while he insisted he wasn’t talking politics, it wasn’t difficult imagine him delivering the same words in a stump speech in Des Moines.

“The worst thing that we all, whether we be businesspeople or private citizens — we should not be embracing indifference right now,” Schultz said at the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. “We have to be engaged, we’ve got to speak out, we’ve got to be involved, we gotta stand up for the things that we know are true. And I think the country, in many ways, is in need of a moral, a cultural and an economic transformation.”

Schultz drew attention in March for attacking President Trump, calling him “a president that is creating episodic chaos every day.” He said that Trump’s behavior was “no doubt affecting consumer behavior.”

Schultz can continue to brush aside the speculation, but he does sound like someone who may run. He appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Tuesday morning:

“There’s a lot of things I can do as a private citizen other than run for the presidency of the United States,” Schultz said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday. “Let’s just see what happens.”

“I don’t know what that means right now,” he said. “But my concern for the country and the standing in the world, the lack of dignity, lack of respect coming from the administration. I think we can do much better.”

The extensive interview, which followed Schultz’s decision to step down as executive chairman of Starbucks later this month, touched on a number of issues from the need to improve education and trim the ballooning national debt to Schultz’s view on the markets and trade policy.


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