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Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee chain, said on Monday Executive Chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down, effective June 26.

As executive chairman, Schultz oversaw the opening of upscale Reserve stores and massive Roastery showrooms as part of its new Siren Retail initiative.

On April 3, 2017, Schultz transitioned from ceo to executive chairman, shifting his full-time focus to the company's social impact initiatives as well as innovation and global development of the company's premium Reserve brand, including Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, Reserve stores and the Company's partnership with renowned artisanal Italian bakery, Princi.

The company temporarily closed more than 8,000 United States stores after the arrest for racial bias training. According to the New York Times, Schulze told Starbucks' board of his intentions to retire from the company about a year ago.

Schultz, 64, says he is considering many possibilities.

"I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines".

Schultz added that he has for some time been "deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world". He had endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before the last presidential election and had sometimes deflected questions about whether he would run for office.

Tobacco and Heart diseases
Tobacco smoking appears to be decreasing in nearly all parts of the world except Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region. Worldwide, about 7%, or just over 24 million children aged 13-15, smoke cigarettes, (17 million boys and 7 million girls).

Schultz at the opening of a Starbucks location in Tokyo on 2 August 1996.

"I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service", he responded.

"One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back", he said.

Starbucks said Myron E. "Mike" Ullman would be the new chairman of the board upon Schultz's retirement.

The coffee chain also recently faced backlash after two black men were arrested at one of its Philadelphia cafes while waiting for a meeting to start.

In his letter, Schultz also credited the company with "balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility".

Starbucks shares slid in after-hours trading on the announcement.


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