Fast Casual: Howard Shultz Resigning as Starbucks CEO to Focus on Retail Innovation
Fast Casual: Howard Shultz Resigning as Starbucks CEO to Focus on Retail Innovation

Starbucks CEO is stepping down to focus on innovation as the company’s executive chairman.

Howard Schultz is handing over the Starbucks CEO title. According to a recent Fast Casual article, COO Kevin Johnson will be taking over as CEO starting in April 2017. With his eye on innovation, Shultz will be serving as the company’s executive chairman. In this position, he plans to expand Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the brand’s impact initiatives around the world.

Three years ago, Schultz predicted that mobile technology would be embraced by the industry and they would need to create destination stores to bring in customers. He was right on a track and wants to continue bringing innovation to stores such as new coffee brewing methods and artisanal food choices for customers that come into their stores.

"In all my years at Starbucks, I have never been more energized by the opportunities that lie ahead," Schultz said Thursday during an investor call.

Johnson has served as COO and president since March 2015 and has been a board member since 2009.

"Through that journey, I fell in love with Starbucks and I share Howard's commitment to our mission and values and his optimism for the future. It is an honor for me to serve the more than 300,000 partners who proudly wear the green apron and I consider it a privilege to work side-by-side with Howard, our world-class board of directors, and a very talented leadership team."

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