WSJ: Howard Schultz Stepping Down as Starbucks CEO to Focus on Higher-End Shops
Howard Schultz is stepping down as chief executive of Starbucks Corp. to lead an effort at the company to build high-end coffee shops that will charge as much as $12 a cup, his next attempt to revolutionize the way Americans consume coffee.
Mr. Schultz, 63 years old, is handing over the CEO role to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson, who served as a director of the company for seven years before joining its executive team two years ago. Mr. Schultz, who is credited with taking the company from small beginnings to an international behemoth, began handing over daily oversight of the company to Mr. Johnson a few months ago.
Starbucks’s move toward high-end coffee, a project referred to internally as “Siren Works”—after the mythological creature in the coffee chain’s logo—is aimed at refreshing its brand, which has been facing increasing competition from specialty roasters such as Stumptown and Intelligentsia, as well as from mass coffee purveyors like Dunkin’ Donuts, which has been introducing more drinks such as cold-brewed coffee.