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Howard Schultz

Chairman, Chief Global Strategist of Starbucks

Howard Schultz Biography

The creator and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee empire. Howard Schultz is the business genius behind the coffee giant Starbucks. His business nous has seen him start from the bottom but work his way to be the USA’s 354th richest person today.

  • President and CEO of Starbucks
  • Businessman
  • Author
  • Former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics
  • Ranked 354th richest person (United States) by Forbes magazine, 2012
  • Co-founder of Maveron investment group
  • Stakeholder in Jamba Juice

Speaking Style

Educational and story-telling

A confident speaker and a business legend, Howard Schultz has wisdom to share with anyone who dreams of making their career a success.

Early Potential

Howard Mark Schultz was born in Brooklyn, New York on the 19th of July 1953. Growing up with his two siblings in Housing Authority Canarsie Bayview houses, his family often struggled financially. The young Schultz attended his local high school (Canarsie) and spent much of his spare times playing sports. It was his love for sport which saw Schultz begin his path to success. He was awarded an athletic scholarship and went to Northern Michigan University, becoming a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He graduated in 1975 with a bachelors degree in communications.

Building Starbucks On finishing his degree, Schultz went to work for Xerox Corporation. A few years experience served him well, and in 1979 he moved to Hammarplast (a coffee machine manufacturer which closed in the mid 1980s), becoming a general manager. It was whilst working for Hammarplast that Schultz was first introduced to Starbucks, which was then a small coffee bean shop in Seattle. In 1982, Schultz joined the Starbucks team as Director of Marketing, a role at which he excelled, noticing some of the features which made coffee bars so successful in Italy. The quality of the drinks served, the atmosphere of the shops and the fact that there were so many in Italy inspired Schultz he saw that Starbucks could become  an Italian inspired coffee shop; easily accessible, friendly and serving the best quality drinks. As Starbucks only sold dry beans and leaves at that time, they did not warm to the idea of becoming a caf and decided not to adopt any changes. In 1985, an undaunted Schultz started his own coffee shop, ‘Il Giornale’. It wasnt until 1987 that Il Giornale became Starbucks, the original owners selling Schultz their retail unit and name. With Starbucks becoming increasingly popular, Schultz used his business sense in order to continue to expand the company, aiming to bring the coffee culture he saw in Italy to the US. Employees were well treated and provided with benefits such as health coverage, boosting their happiness and loyalty. The company continued to thrive, opening stores and franchises in countries all over the world (however, Schultz aims to run most of the stores rather than selling them as franchises, as he feels that the company and brand are stronger this way). Schultz is currently the CEO of one of the most successful coffee shop chains of all time, due to his timing, foresight and business acumen. Between 2001 and 2006, Schultz was the owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, a National Basketball Association (NBA) team.


  • Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award, Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah (1998)
  • National Leadership Award for work in HIV and AIDS awareness (1999)
  • International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, University of Manitoba (2004)
  • Responsible Capitalism Award, FIRST (2007)
  • Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh C.S.C. Award for Ethics in Business (2007)
  • Businessperson of the Year, Fortune Magazine (2011)

Howard Schultz Videos


E) On application




North America

Howard Schultz‘s Topics

Staying on top

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Achieving your goal

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Books by Howard Schultz

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