Howard Schultz Is Back at Starbucks

Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz Starbucks CEO (Wikipedia)

Howard Schultz is making a comeback. He will take over as interim CEO of Starbucks while the company looks for a permanent replacement for Kevin Johnson who announced his retirement last week.

“Although I did not plan to return to Starbucks, I know the company must transform once again to meet a new and exciting future where all of our stakeholders mutually flourish,” Howard Schultz said in a statement. “Our success is not an entitlement. We must continue to earn the trust of our people and our customers every day by how we deliver the Starbucks Experience, how we treat each other and how we act as a responsible community member and corporate citizen.”

One person who is not so happy with the return of Howard Schultz is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders is concerned with the company’s continued attempts to block the unionization of its baristas.

“If Starbucks can afford to spend $20 billion on stock buybacks and dividends and provide a $20 million compensation package to its CEO, it can afford a unionized workforce that can collectively bargain for better wages, better benefits, safer working conditions and reliable schedules,” Sanders wrote in a letter to Starbucks. “Mr. Schultz: This is a pivotal moment for Starbucks. As you return to the company, it is time to do the right thing: End the union busting and obey the law.”

To date, 6 out of the 7 Starbucks branches that held votes on unionization have voted in favor of a union. More than 140 Starbucks stores in 27 states filed for union elections. All this came after a Starbucks in Buffalo became the first to unionize at the end of 2021. There is no word yet, however, as to how Howard Schlitz plans to deal with the union issue.