Best Known For
Howard Schultz is CEO and chairman of Starbucks, the highly successful coffee company.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 19, 1953, Howard Schultz graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in communications before becoming director of retail operations and marketing for the Starbucks Coffee Company in 1982. After founding the coffee company Il Giornale, in 1987, he purchased Starbucks and became CEO and chairman of the company. In 2000, Schultz publicly announced that he was resigning as Starbucks's CEO. Eight years later, however,
"We're not in the business of filling bellies, we’re in the business of filling souls."
"Not every decision is an economic one."
"When I walked [into Starbucks] for the first time—I know this sounds really hokey—I knew I was home. I can't explain it. But I knew I was in a special place, and the product kind of spoke to me."
he returned to head the company. In 2012, Starbucks included more than 17,600 stores and its market cap was valued at $35.6 billion.
Howard D. Schultz was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 19, 1953, and moved with his family to the Bayview Housing projects in Canarsie, a neighborhood in southeastern Brooklyn, when he was 3 years old. Schultz was a natural athlete, leading the basketball courts around his home and the football field at school. He made his escape from Canarsie with a football scholarship to Northern Michigan University in 1970.
After graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication in 1975, Schultz found work as an appliance salesman for Hammarplast, a company that sold European coffee makers in the United States. Rising through the ranks to become director of sales, in the early 1980s, Schultz noticed that he was selling more coffee makers to a small operation in Seattle, Washington, known then as the Starbucks Coffee Tea and Spice Company, than to Macy's. "Every month, every quarter, these numbers were going up, even though Starbucks just had a few stores," Schultz later remembered. "And I said, 'I gotta go up to Seattle.'"
Howard Schultz still distinctly remembers the first time he walked into the original Starbucks in 1981. At that time, Starbucks had only been around for 10 years and didn't exist outside Seattle. The company's original owners, old college buddies Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker and their neighbor, Zev Siegl, had founded Starbucks in 1971. The three friends also came up with the coffee company's ubiquitous mermaid logo.
"When I walked in this store for the first time—I know this sounds really hokey—I knew I was home," Schultz later remembered. "I can't explain it. But I knew I was in a special place, and the product kind of spoke to me." At that time, he added, "I had never had a good cup of coffee. I met the founders of the company, and really heard for the first time the story of great coffee ... I just said, 'God, this is something I've been looking for my whole professional life.'" Little did Schultz know then how fortuitous his introduction to the company would truly be, or that he would have an integral part in creating the modern Starbucks.
A year after meeting with Starbucks' founders, in 1982, Howard Schultz was hired as director of retail operations and marketing for the growing coffee company, which, at the time, only sold coffee beans, not coffee drinks.
profile name: Howard Schultz profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Cancerians 586 people in this group
Famous People Named Howard 12 people in this group
Famous Activists 522 people in this group