Mike Pont/WireImage via GettyImages(NEW YORK) — Starbucks coffee announced Thursday that Howard Schultz, the company’s chairman and CEO, would be stepping down from his post this Spring and would be appointed executive chairman of the company.
The coffee magnate, who has been with the company for more than 30 years, is credited with turning the Starbucks into a global brand with name recognition comparable to McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
The change will be effective April 3, 2017, the company said.
Schultz, the company said, “will shift his focus to innovation, design and development” of its Starbucks Reserve brand products and expansion of Reserve branded locations, while also focusing on the company’s “social impact initiatives.”
“As I focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson —- our current president, coo, a seven-year board member and my partner in running every facet of Starbucks business over the last two years —- has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer,” Schultz said in a statement released by the company.
In a conference call on the leadership shake-up, Johnson characterized Schultz one of the “most iconic leaders and entrepreneurs” in the world.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.