HOWARD SCHULTZ

CEO OF STARBUCKS

Early Life

Howard D. Schultz was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 19, 1953. He then moved to a neighborhood in southeastern Brooklyn when he was 3 years old. Howard was a natural athlete, leading the basketball courts around his home and the football field at school. He left from Canarsie with a football scholarship to Northern Michigan University in 1970.

Take-Off of His Career

After graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975, Schultz found work as an appliance salesman for Hammarplast, a company that sold European coffee makers in the United States. 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.'"
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The Birth of 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. In 1983, while traveling in Milan, Italy, he was struck by the number of coffee bars he encountered. An idea then occurred to him: Starbucks should sell not just coffee beans but coffee drinks. "I saw something. Not only the romance of coffee, but ... a sense of community. And the connection that people had to coffee—the place and one another," Howard remembered.

The Begining of A Revolution

the company's creators were, at first, not thrilled about the thought of it. "We said, 'Oh no, that's not for us,'" Siegl remembered. "Throughout the '70s, we served coffee in our store. We even, at one point, had a nice, big espresso machine behind the counter. But we were in the bean business." Nevertheless, Schultz was persistent until, finally, the owners let him establish a coffee bar in a new store that was opening in Seattle. It was an instant success, bringing in hundreds of people per day.
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Continued Sucess

Two years later, with the help of investors, Schultz purchased Starbucks, merging Il Giornale with the Seattle company. Subsequently, he became CEO and chairman of Starbucks (known thereafter as the Starbucks Coffee Company). Schultz had to convince investors that Americans would actually shell out high prices for a beverage that they were used to getting for 50 cents. At the time, most Americans didn't know a high-grade coffee bean from a teaspoon of Nescafé instant coffee. In fact, coffee consumption in the United States had been going down since 1962.