Entrepreneur Profile: Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz, 62, is most well-known as the CEO the popular coffee chain, Starbucks. Schultz was raised in Brooklyn, New York and later received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Northern Michigan University. Starting his coffee career in 1979, Schultz was the general manager for a different coffee company when he heard about a small startup (Starbucks) that he eventually joined as the director of marketing. With inspiration from Italy, Schultz introduced the idea of selling coffee drinks in coffee bars, not just the beans that Starbucks was currently selling. In 1985, Schultz left Starbucks due to the difference in vision for the brand. Howard wanted to grow the company in the restaurant industry whereas the original owners were satisfied just selling coffee beans and sticking to their traditional roots.

One year later, Schultz had raised the capital required to open his own coffee bar- II Giornale, and it was only two years after that the original owners of Starbucks sold the brand to Schultz, and the two brands merged into one brand- Starbucks Coffee Company. Schultz expanded these coffee bars across the US, shaking the coffee industry nationwide.

Whether acting as CEO of Starbucks or not, Schultz has been successful in all of his endeavors. At one point in time, he owned the Seattle SuperSonics professional basketball team. He has also become a well-respected activist, specifically publicly supporting same sex marriage in 2013.

Howard still lives in Seattle, the location of the first Starbucks, and is considered as a net worth of $3.1 Billion today.Howard Schultz