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Starbucks is looking externally for its next CEO, Howard Schultz says


Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO and Chairman, speaks during the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held in Seattle (WA) on March 22, 2017.

Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

StarbucksHoward Schultz announced that the next company CEO will be outside of the company. The Wall Street Journal.

After the resignation of Kevin Johnson, Schultz was back in office for the third time. Analysts and investors have speculated that Schultz will not be staying on as chief executive beyond autumn. A successor will then be appointed. Schultz said to the newspaper that Starbucks will be closing its C-suite by March’s annual shareholder meeting.

Whoever inherits the business will have a company that is still recovering the Covid pandemicBaristas in the United States are trying hard to unite, in particular in China. It is upgrading U.S. coffee shops to accommodate customers’ preferences and aiming to achieve ambitious sustainability targets.

Schultz said to the Journal, “For the success of the company in the future, we need expertise in many disciplines that we do not have right now.”

Schultz has waged an aggressive campaign against union pushes, which has had a negative impact on Starbucks stock. Since Schultz returned to Starbucks, the shares fell 13%.

It could be because of the union efforts that the company seeks new blood.

Andrew Charles Cowen analyst, wrote in March to clients that the “Unionization publicity” could have pushed the company’s search for a culture built on the benevolence and Mr. Schultz.

Starbucks was accused by the National Labor Relations Board (union organizers) of using illegal labor practices. The company denies this accusation. Workers United, the union that’s backing organizing efforts at Starbucks, said in a Friday filing that the coffee chain is violating federal labor law by permanently closing a unionized Ithaca, New York, store.CNBC was told by a spokesperson for Starbucks that closing and opening stores are a part of their business.

See more from Schultz on Starbucks’ succession plans here.