Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was born on July 19, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After graduating, he worked as an appliance salesman and sold European coffee makers. In the early 80s, he moved to Seattle to learn more about a small business at the time, Starbucks.
Schultz started working at Starbucks because he saw its potential, but the owners didn’t like Schultz’s plans to grow and expand the company, so he left in 1985 to start his own coffee bar chain, Il Giornale. Two years later, Schultz purchased Starbucks and became CEO and chairman. In less than four years, the coffee chain grew from less than 20 store to more than 100. By 2000, there were over 2,500 locations in about a dozen countries.
Schultz stepped down as CEO in 2000 but remained as the chairman. The company was struggling so Schultz returned as CEO in 2008 and oversaw many efforts to secure the brand and help it in future growth. He officially stepped down as CEO in April of 2017 and retired as executive chairman on June 26, 2018 at which time there were more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries. He is married to Sheri Kersch and has three children Kyle, Addison, and Eliahu.