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Howard Schultz

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Title: Howard Schultz  
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Subject: Seattle SuperSonics, Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City, Coffee Equipment Company, Seattle Storm, Northern Michigan University
Collection: 1953 Births, American Billionaires, American Business Writers, American Chairmen of Corporations, American Chief Executives of Food Industry Companies, American Financial Company Founders, American Financiers, American People of German-Jewish Descent, Businesspeople from New York City, Businesspeople from Washington (State), Businesspeople in Coffee, Coffee in Seattle, Washington, Jewish American Sportspeople, Jewish American Writers, Living People, Northern Michigan University Alumni, People from Canarsie, Brooklyn, Seattle Storm, Seattle Supersonics Owners, Starbucks People, Women's National Basketball Association Executives, Writers from New York City, Writers from Seattle, Washington
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Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz
Schultz in Vancouver on March 2, 2007.
Born Howard D. Schultz
(1953-07-19) July 19, 1953
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Alma mater Northern Michigan University
Occupation Chairman and CEO of Starbucks
Salary US$ 21,775,001[1]
Net worth US$2.9 billion (Sept 2015)[2]
Spouse(s) Sheri Kersch Schultz (m. 1982)
Children Eliahu Jordan Schultz
Addison Schultz
Kyle Schultz
Website Starbucks

Howard D. Schultz (born July 19, 1953) is an American businessman. He is best known as the chairman and CEO[3] of Starbucks and a former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Square, Inc.[4] In 1998, Schultz co-founded Maveron, an investment group, with Dan Levitan.[5] In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked Schultz as the 354th richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.[6]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Ownership of the Seattle SuperSonics 2.1
  • Controversy 3
  • Awards 4
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Schultz was born to a Jewish family[7] on July 19, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of ex-United States Army trooper and then truck driver Fred Schultz, and his wife Elaine.[8][9] With his younger sister, Ronnie, and brother, Michael, he grew up in the Canarsie Bayview Houses of the New York City Housing Authority. As Schultz's family was poor, he saw an escape in sports such as baseball, football, and basketball, as well as the Boys and Girls Club. He went to Canarsie High School, from which he graduated in 1971.[10] In high school, Schultz excelled at sports and was awarded an athletic scholarship to Northern Michigan University[8] – the first person in his family to go to college. A member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Schultz received his bachelor's degree in Communications in 1975.[9]


After graduating, Schultz worked as a salesperson for Xerox Corporation and was quickly promoted to a full sales representative.[9] In 1979 he became a general manager for Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, Hammarplast,[8] where he became responsible for their U.S. operations with a staff of twenty.[9] In 1981, Schultz visited a client of Hammarplast, a fledgling coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, curious as to why it ordered so many plastic cone filters.[9] He was impressed with the company's knowledge of coffee and kept in contact over the next year, expressing interest in working with them. A year later, he joined Starbucks as the Director of Marketing.[11] On a buying trip to Milan, Italy for Starbucks, Schultz noted that coffee bars existed on practically every street. He learned that they not only served excellent espresso, they also served as meeting places or public squares; they were a big part of Italy's societal glue, and there were 200,000 of them in the country.

On his return, he tried to persuade the owners (including Jerry Baldwin) to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. After a successful pilot of the cafe concept, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn't want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz decided to leave Starbucks in 1985. He needed $400,000 to open the first store and start the business. He simply did not have the money and his wife was pregnant with their first baby. Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker offered to help. Schultz also received $100,000 from a doctor who was impressed by Schultz’s energy to “take a gamble”.[12] By 1986, he raised all the money he needed to open the first store 'Il Giornale' after the Milanese newspaper. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet's Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and Il Giornale for $3.8 million.

Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name, and aggressively expanded its reach across the United States. Schultz's keen insight in real estate and his hard-line focus on growth drove him to expand the company rapidly. Schultz did not believe in franchising, and made a point of having Starbucks retain ownership of every domestic outlet.

On 26 June 1992, Starbucks had its initial public offering and trading of its common stock under the stock ticker NASDAQ-NMS: SBUX. The offering was done by Alex, Brown & Sons Inc. and Wertheim Schroder & Co. Inc.[13]

Schultz authored the book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time with Dori Jones Yang in 1997. His second book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul with Joanne Gordon, was published in 2011.

On January 8, 2008 Schultz returned as CEO of Starbucks after an eight-year hiatus.[14] At this time, Schultz was earning a total compensation of $9,740,471, which included a base salary of $1,190,000, and options granted of $7,786,105.[15] Schultz is a significant stakeholder in Jamba Juice.[16]

On the first of November 2013, it was announced that Schultz had stepped down from the board of Square, to be replaced by former Goldman Sachs executive David Viniar.[17]

Ownership of the Seattle SuperSonics

Schultz is the former owner of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics. During his tenure as team owner, he was criticized for his naïveté and propensity to run the franchise as a business rather than a sports team.[18] Schultz feuded with player Gary Payton, feeling that Payton disrespected him and the team by not showing up to the first day of training camp in 2002.[19] On July 18, 2006, Schultz sold the team to Clayton Bennett, chairman of the Professional Basketball Club LLC, an Oklahoma City ownership group, for $350 million, after having failed to convince the city of Seattle to provide public funding to build a new arena in the Greater Seattle area to replace KeyArena. At the time of the team's sale, it was speculated that the new owners would move the team to their city some time after the 2006–2007 NBA season.[20] On July 2, 2008, the city of Seattle reached a settlement with the new ownership group and the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder for the 2008–09 NBA season.[21] The sale to the out-of-state owners considerably damaged Schultz's popularity in Seattle.[22] In a local newspaper poll, Schultz was judged "most responsible" for the team leaving the city.[23] Before the city of Seattle settled with the Oklahoma City ownership group, Schultz filed a lawsuit against Bennett – in April 2008 – to rescind the July 2006 sale based on what Schultz claimed was fraud and intentional misrepresentation. However, Schultz dropped the lawsuit in August 2008. When Bennett purchased the SuperSonics and its sister franchise in the WNBA, the Seattle Storm, for $350 million, he agreed to a stipulation that he would make a "good-faith best effort" for one year to keep both teams in Seattle. The sincerity of the good-faith effort was widely disputed by the way Bennett acted and by direct quotes from his partner Aubrey McClendon. On January 8, 2008, Bennett sold the Storm to Force 10 Hoops, LLC, an ownership group of four Seattle women, which kept the team in Seattle.[24]


Speaking to CNBC in February 2009 about his concerns over the global economic crisis, Schultz said that "the place that concerns us the most is western Europe, and specifically the UK", which he considered to be in a "spiral", expressing concern with the levels of unemployment and consumer confidence in the country.

Lord Mandelson, the then-UK Business Secretary, responded saying that Britain was "not spiralling, although I've noticed Starbucks is in a great deal of trouble", and suggesting that Schultz was projecting his own company's trouble in the United Kingdom onto the wider national economy. Mandelson was later overheard at a drinks reception, saying: "Why should I have this guy running down the country? Who the hell is he? How the hell are [Starbucks] doing?"[25]

An official comment from Starbucks read that "It is a difficult economic situation in the US and around the world. Please be assured that Starbucks has no intention of criticising the economic situation in the UK. We are all in this together and as a global business we are committed to each and every market we serve."[25]


In 1998, Schultz was awarded the "Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award" from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for "playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel".[26][27]

In 1999, Schultz was awarded the "National Leadership Award" for philanthropic and educational efforts to battle AIDS.[28]

The recipient of the 2004 International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, presented to him from the University of Manitoba for his outstanding success and commendable conduct of Starbucks.[29]

In 2007 he received the FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award.[30]

On March 29, 2007, Schultz accepted the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award for Ethics in Business at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. The same night, he delivered the Frank Cahill Lecture in Business Ethics.[31]

Schultz became Fortune magazine's "2011 Businessperson of the Year" for his initiatives in the economy and job market.[32]

Personal life

In 1982, Schultz married Sheri Kersch;[9] they have two children:[2] Eliahu Jordan (born 1986)[33]and Addison (born 1990). [34] Their son Eliahu Jordan Schultz is a sportswriter for The Huffington Post. Eliahu married Breanna Lind Hawes in a civil ceremony in 2011; they were later married by a rabbi.[33][35]


  1. ^ "Starbucks CEO Schultz's pay rose 45 percent in 2010". Seattle Times.
  2. ^ a b Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Howard Schultz September 2015
  3. ^ URL last accessed August 16, 2007.
  4. ^ Efrati, Amir (August 8, 2012). "Starbucks Invests in Square". The Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ Arnold, Glen (2008). Corporate financial management.  
  6. ^ "The 400 Richest Americans". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  7. ^ New York Times: "New Economy; How Starbucks was put on the defensive by an attack on the Internet rumor mill that would not go away" By Sherri Day June 02, 2003
  8. ^ a b c Melissa Thompson (August 5, 2010). "Starbucks' Howard Schultz on how he became coffee king". Sunday Mirror. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Howard is constantly reminding his team, "We are not in the coffee business serving people; we are in the people business serving coffee."[4]Kellogg School of Management: "Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company" by Nancy F. Koehn] November 28, 2011. Archived January 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Howard Schultz". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  11. ^ "Howard Schultz Secrets for Success. Dan Skeen. Success Television". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  12. ^ Mullins, John (2007). The New Business Road Test. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ [5]
  15. ^ 2008 CEO Compensation for Howard Schultz,
  16. ^ "Research Information on Jamba Juice" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  17. ^ Kate Taylor (November 1, 2013). "Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Steps Down From Square's Board of Directors".  
  18. ^ "Why Schultz tuned out and sold out the Sonics". 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  19. ^ Jason Notte (February 1, 2014). "Seattle Super Bowl Scores Points for Paul Allen, Sacks Howard Schultz".  
  20. ^ URL last accessed July 18, 2006.
  21. ^ "Sonics are Oklahoma City-bound". 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  22. ^ "Sonics Settlement". 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  23. ^ [6]
  24. ^ Allen, Percy (April 15, 2008). "Howard Schultz plans to sue Clay Bennett to get Sonics back". The Seattle Times. 
  25. ^ a b Wintour, Patrick (February 19, 2009). "Mandelson and Starbucks clash on UK economy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  26. ^  
  27. ^ Starbucks the target of Arab boycott- Arab news
  28. ^ Howard D. Schultz Biography Businessweek Data is as current as the most recent Definitive Proxy
  29. ^ "IDEA Recipients". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  30. ^ "The FIRST International Award for Responsible Capitalism". 
  31. ^ Notre Dame Frank Cahill Lecture, March 29, 2007
  32. ^ "2011 Businessperson of the Year - 1. Howard D. Schultz (2) - FORTUNE". 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  33. ^ a b New York Times: "Breanna Hawes, Jordan Schultz" September 9, 2011
  34. ^ Seattle Times: "Storm can expect same passion" By Jayda Evans January 12, 2001
  35. ^ London Daily Mail: "Nice wedding present for the 1%: Starbucks CEO buys son and his new bride $4.6m New York condo" by Daniel Bates November 10, 2011

Further reading

  • Schultz, Howard and Yang, Dori Jones (1997). Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time. Hyperion. 
  • Schultz, Howard and Gordon, Joanne (2011). Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. Rodale. 

External links

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