Howard Schultz is an American businessman and the CEO and chairman of Starbucks.
Howard Schultz was born on July 19, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, to Fred and Elaine Schultz and grew up in the Canarsie Bayview Housing Projects. After graduating from Canarsie High School in 1971, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to Northern Michigan University. He received his bachelor's degree in Communications in 1975.
After graduating, Schultz worked as a salesperson for Xerox Corporation. In 1979, he became a general manager for Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, Hammarplast. In 1981, Schultz visited a client of Hammarplast, a fledgling coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle which he joined as the Director of Marketing a year later. Following a buying trip to Milan, Italy, Schultz persuaded Starbucks owners to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. After a successful pilot of the cafe concept, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn't want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz started his own coffee shop named Il Giornale (after a newspaper in Milan) in 1985. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet's Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and Il Giornale for $3.8 million. Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name and aggressively expanded Starbucks' reach across the United States.
On January 8, 2008, Schultz regained his status as CEO of Starbucks after a hiatus of 8 years. While CEO of Starbucks in 2008, Schultz earned a total compensation of $9,740,471, which included a base salary of $1,190,000, and options granted of $7,786,105.
In 1998, Schultz was awarded the "The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award" from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for "playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel".
Schultz is also the former owner of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics.
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