Starbucks’ stock has been soaring, its earnings are strong, and it has been expanding rapidly in its fastest-growing major market, China.
Yet as shareholders head toward the company’s annual meeting on March 20, there is a cloud on the horizon: the risk that latte lovers will punish Starbucks because they are turned off by Howard Schultz’s prospective campaign for president.
Mr. Schultz, who presided over Starbucks when it went public in 1992 and dominated it for years, gave up his last operational position at Starbucks in June. Still, the company embodies his taste and vision. What’s more, Mr. Schultz remains Starbucks’ largest individual shareholder, and the current chief executive, Kevin Johnson, is his chosen successor.
In official documents, Starbucks says this is a “pivotal year,” one in which it is making the transition from a “founder-led” to a “founder-inspired” company. That would have been hard enough if Mr. Schultz, 65, had retired quietly, said Nancy F. Koehn, a historian at the Harvard Business School who has studied Mr. Schultz and Starbucks extensively. But his incipient quest for the presidency as a third-party candidate, she said, makes the handover much more difficult.
“When a charismatic leader steps away from a company he — or she — has essentially created, it’s not easy for a successor to pick up the reins of energy and inspiration and engagement,” Ms. Koehn said. “But now, with Howard saying he is, or may be, running for president, in a year in which so many people feel so passionately about unseating the current president, Donald Trump, the transition is immeasurably harder.”
A longtime Democrat, Mr. Schultz said in late January that he was “seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.”
And since late January, he has been acting like a candidate — crisscrossing the country, promoting a new book and criticizing what he calls ”a broken system where the extreme left and the extreme right will not give the people what they want.”
Along the way, he has attracted the enmity of Democrats who fear that if he actually runs as a third-party candidate, he will aid in the re-election of President Trump.
In a tweet on Jan. 26, for example, Neera Tanden, the president of Center for American Progress, a liberal nonprofit group, and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, called Mr. Schultz’s political project “disgusting” and said she would organize a Starbucks boycott if his exploratory effort became a bona fide campaign.
“I’m not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win,” she said.
Starbucks evidently considers Mr. Schultz’s presidential ambitions toxic enough that it will not comment about him at all. When I contacted the company for this column, it referred me to a statement Mr. Johnson issued to employees on Jan. 28.
“Many of us will inevitably be asked if the company supports a possible presidential candidacy of Howard and what changes for Starbucks. As a company, we don’t get involved in national political campaigns,” he said. “And nothing changes for Starbucks.”
As a company that must depend on the good will of customers, Starbucks meticulously listed eight pages of “risk factors” in its 2018 annual report. It warned, for example, that “consumer demand for our products and our brand equity could diminish significantly” if the company or its partners “are perceived to act in an unethical, illegal, racially biased or unequal treatment basis or socially irresponsible manner.”
Starbucks did not address the risk that, fair or not, consumer demand might “diminish significantly” if Mr. Schultz pursued his presidential ambitions.
For anything “Howard Schultz-related” now, the company said, I needed to talk to Mr. Schultz’s personal representatives. So I reached out to the fledgling Schultz political operation. Erin McPike, a spokeswoman, said she worked for a “testing-the-waters operation, which is not yet a formal presidential campaign.”
“Let me make perfectly clear that he left Starbucks and left the board of directors and separated himself from the company,” Ms. McPike said. “He has made a complete separation. He’s not tied to it in an active way.”
While that appears to be true, Mr. Schultz is tied to the company in countless other ways. Notably, his wealth was derived from Starbucks and remains intimately connected with it.
The company’s current proxy describes Mr. Schultz’s finances extensively, for example, citing him by name 93 times — more than the combined total of Mr. Johnson and Myron E. Ullman III, the chairman. With the help of Courtney Yu, director of research for Equilar, an executive compensation firm, I obtained a tally of Mr. Schultz’s compensation and holdings.
In the company’s 2018 fiscal year, for the months that he was executive chairman his salary was only . But Equilar found that Mr. Schultz’s actual pay — including exercised stock options, vested stock and retirement income — amounted to ,745,740.
I asked Mr. Yu to assess Mr. Schultz’s total Starbucks compensation going back to 2007. It amounted to 4,622,478. And then there was his Starbucks stock: He controlled 37,694,049 shares on Dec. 17. On Friday afternoon, those shares would have been worth about .6 billion.
It is not just that Starbucks generated Mr. Schultz’s wealth. The company is his main credential as a prospective chief executive for America.
“My business experience is not qualification to run for president, but it is what I’ve learned along the way,” he said in a Houston “town hall” carried on CNN. He added: “Look at Starbucks, what I’ve done in the last 36 years.”
In politics, Mr. Schultz is positioning himself as socially liberal but fiscally conservative, a status that is consistent with his policies at Starbucks. He points to a socially conscious company that has provided good health care, pay and education benefits for its diverse work force — as well as enormous profits for investors. Since 1992, the annualized return on its shares has been 22.7 percent, according to Bloomberg. Mr. Schultz has made longtime shareholders rich.
In an interview, Greg Strimple, Mr. Schultz’s pollster, said: “As core Howard Schultz voters, we see about 25 percent of the Democratic electorate — people who would be in the Biden-Bloomberg-business wing of the party — plus the Romney-Jeb Bush ‘Never Trumper’ part of the Republican Party, plus a lot of independents. And that’s just a start.”
Michael R. Bloomberg’s decision not to seek the presidency in 2020 provides Mr. Schultz with running room, his associates said, while his options narrow if Joseph R. Biden Jr. embarks on a campaign. On the other hand, they said, his path widens if someone like Senator Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination.
That calculus enrages many Democrats: Any Democratic votes he might receive, as an independent, could simply help the Republican candidate, presumably Mr. Trump, whom Mr. Schultz says he opposes. But Mr. Strimple said Mr. Schultz could attract Republican votes and wasn’t aiming to be a spoiler.
“When people say he’s a spoiler, we frame it as the ‘two-party system is broken, and it’s time for a centrist leader who will bring the country together,’” Mr. Strimple said. “When people look at it that way, we find he gets a lot of support.”
How much support remains to be seen. Mr. Schultz will probably decide whether to run during the summer, Ms. McPike said. Early polls are unreliable, and the presidential race is fluid. No polls that I have seen indicate that Mr. Schultz could win the presidency, though some suggest that he might well disrupt the election.
That possibility already troubles some Starbucks customers, who have been using the #boycottstarbucks hashtag to express their opinions on Twitter.
Some protesters have called for a boycott using other platforms. Michael Moore, the filmmaker, has called for one until Mr. Schultz says he won’t run. A Bloomberg analysis points out that 70 percent of Starbucks stores in the United States are in counties that tend to vote Democratic, making the coffee chain vulnerable to discontent on the left.
In short, it seems safe to say the more attention Mr. Schultz’s nascent independent candidacy gets, the greater the likelihood that Starbucks customers will buy their lattes elsewhere.B:
老钱庄心水论坛中金心水论坛“【我】【已】【经】【无】【家】【可】【归】【了】，【如】【果】【你】【都】【不】【要】【我】，【我】【真】【不】【知】【道】【该】【去】【哪】【了】，”【东】【皇】【玉】【轻】【声】【道】。 【人】【家】【都】【这】【么】【说】【了】，【陆】【轩】【还】【能】【拒】【绝】【么】？ “【嗯】，【那】【你】【暂】【时】【住】【在】【这】【里】，”【陆】【轩】【一】【本】【正】【经】【的】【说】【道】。 “【陆】【轩】，【谢】【谢】【你】！” 【说】【完】，【东】【皇】【玉】【一】【头】【扎】【进】【了】【陆】【轩】【的】【怀】【里】。 “——” 【东】【皇】【玉】【这】【么】【一】【个】【身】【材】【火】【爆】【的】【大】【美】【女】，【老】【是】【这】【么】
“Boss……” “【喝】【了】！” 【少】【年】【的】【声】【音】，【压】【了】【几】【分】，【深】【邃】【的】【眸】【瞳】【里】，【又】【添】【了】【几】【分】【凉】【意】。 【纪】【语】【晨】【不】【停】【地】【摇】【着】【头】，【却】【不】【敢】【有】【半】【点】【退】【却】【的】【勇】【气】，【她】【只】【能】【楚】【楚】【可】【怜】【地】【用】【乞】【求】【的】【眼】【神】【看】【着】【少】【年】，“【不】……【不】，Boss，【您】【不】【要】【这】【样】【对】【我】……” 【她】【看】【着】【面】【前】【这】【张】【俊】【美】【不】【凡】【的】【脸】，【和】【那】【修】【长】【漂】【亮】【的】【手】【指】，【此】【刻】【却】【如】
【但】【是】【既】【然】【这】【位】SSS【级】【的】【长】【官】【已】【经】【完】【成】【任】【务】【了】，【对】【她】【来】【说】，【最】【重】【要】【的】【应】【该】【是】【马】【上】【离】【开】【前】【去】【交】【付】【任】【务】，【领】【取】【自】【己】【应】【有】【的】【奖】【励】，【然】【后】【尽】【可】【能】【争】【取】【休】【息】【的】【宝】【贵】【时】【间】。 【而】【不】【是】【把】【自】【己】【的】【精】【力】，【分】【给】【这】【些】【根】【本】【不】【重】【要】【的】【虚】【拟】【世】【界】【的】【人】【物】【身】【上】。 “【长】【官】！【如】【果】【您】【真】【的】【很】【在】【乎】【这】【些】【人】，【那】【就】【让】【我】【们】【来】【帮】【忙】【处】【理】【就】【好】！”【红】【发】【杰】【克】
【卑】【鄙】【也】【没】【有】【办】【法】【了】，【为】【了】【一】【世】【清】【名】，【更】【是】【为】【了】【解】【一】【下】【占】【卜】【之】【痒】，【夏】【辉】【已】【经】【豁】【出】【去】【了】。 【自】【己】【可】【是】【好】【人】，【不】【仅】【仅】【不】【会】【做】【出】【八】【字】【害】【人】【之】【事】，【还】【会】【为】【花】【婆】【婆】【等】【人】【推】【算】【吉】【凶】【祸】【福】，【为】【她】【们】【化】【解】【祸】【事】，【那】【可】【是】【利】【人】【利】【已】【的】【事】【情】。【骗】【小】【孩】【子】【又】【怎】【么】【样】【呢】？【这】【可】【是】【做】【好】【事】【哦】。 “【小】【红】，【还】【不】【快】【快】【把】【那】【定】【时】【纸】【拿】【出】【来】，【哥】【哥】【给】【你】【确】【认】
“【第】【一】，【皇】【上】【还】【健】【在】，【皇】【叔】【刚】【才】【说】【的】【什】【么】【让】【我】【父】**【你】【扶】【摇】【直】【上】【的】【话】【岂】【非】【大】【逆】【不】【道】，【您】【未】【免】【太】【过】【焦】【急】【了】【一】【点】；【第】【二】，【即】【便】【是】【我】【说】【一】【句】【不】【该】【说】【的】，【未】【来】【南】【楚】【谁】【执】【政】【作】【皇】【也】【不】【是】【我】【们】【荣】【王】【府】【说】【了】【能】【算】【的】，【皇】【叔】【不】【必】【刻】【意】【拉】【拢】，【相】【信】【民】【心】【自】【有】【所】【向】；【第】【三】，【皇】【叔】【有】【没】【有】【那】【样】【的】【命】【我】【们】【皆】【不】【知】【道】，【但】【是】【以】【皇】【叔】【今】【天】【这】【样】【的】【为】【人】，【这】老钱庄心水论坛中金心水论坛【蔡】【菜】【终】【于】【沉】【下】【心】【来】，【开】【始】【学】【习】【扶】【桑】【尊】【者】【给】【出】【的】【六】【阶】【阵】【法】【心】【得】，【他】【给】【出】【的】【六】【阶】【阵】【法】【图】【其】【实】【只】【有】【四】【个】，【但】【对】【于】【蔡】【菜】【这】【个】【五】【阶】【阵】【法】【大】【师】【来】【说】，【想】【要】【制】【作】【出】【一】【个】【六】【阶】【阵】【盘】【本】【身】【就】【很】【困】【难】。 【然】【而】【她】【现】【在】【也】【不】【着】【急】【了】，【先】【是】【一】【点】【点】【描】【绘】【出】【其】【中】【一】【张】【阵】【图】，【然】【后】【按】【照】【他】【给】【出】【的】【步】【骤】，【一】【点】【点】【循】【序】【渐】【进】。 【三】【个】【月】【之】【后】，【当】【蔡】【菜】【废】【掉】
【吉】【如】【那】【甜】【甜】【的】【笑】【容】，【让】**【菲】【看】【到】【了】【母】【性】【的】【爱】，【想】【起】【了】【阿】【妈】【的】【模】【样】，【也】【似】【乎】【就】【是】【这】【个】【样】【子】【的】。 【天】【底】【下】【的】【母】【亲】【都】【是】【一】【样】【的】，【有】【着】【一】【颗】【慈】【爱】【般】【的】【善】【心】，【可】【是】【像】【大】【太】【太】【那】【样】【的】【却】【毕】【竟】【是】【少】【数】。 **【菲】【对】【这】【个】【吉】【如】【的】【印】【象】【十】【分】【的】【好】！ 【吉】【如】【和】【孩】【子】【在】【里】【屋】【一】【直】【说】【着】【话】，【显】【然】【没】【有】【注】【意】【到】**【菲】【和】【二】【姨】【太】【的】【到】【来】。【一】【旁】【的】
【回】【去】【过】？【回】【去】【过】？ 【迟】【初】【先】【是】【一】【懵】，【然】【后】【才】【慢】【慢】【的】【反】【应】【过】【来】。【她】【从】【叶】【行】【止】【的】【肩】【头】【抬】【起】【头】，“【你】……【回】【去】【过】【书】【里】【的】【世】【界】？” 【叶】【行】【止】【淡】【淡】【的】【嗯】【了】【一】【声】，【迟】【初】【先】【是】【觉】【得】【不】【可】【思】【议】，【然】【后】【才】【问】，“【那】【你】【是】【怎】【么】【回】【去】【的】？【又】【是】【怎】【么】【回】【来】【的】？” 【沉】【默】【了】【会】【儿】，【叶】【行】【止】【和】【盘】【托】【出】，【他】【说】，“【我】【回】【去】【之】【前】，【眼】【前】【忽】【然】【出】【现】【了】【一】【道】
【就】【连】【一】【灯】【道】【人】【都】【看】【不】【过】【去】【了】，【轻】【咳】【一】【声】【传】【音】【道】：“【惊】【鸿】【啊】，【差】【不】【多】【就】【可】【以】【了】，【让】【人】【家】【劫】【云】【和】【罚】【云】【走】【吧】，【这】【一】【直】【关】【着】【人】【家】【算】【什】【么】？” 【夜】【惊】【鸿】【认】【出】【了】【这】【声】【音】，【睁】【开】【双】【眼】，【其】【中】【光】【芒】【湛】【湛】，【甚】【是】【耀】【眼】。 “【一】【灯】【先】【生】？！【是】【你】【吗】？！” 【一】【灯】【心】【中】【这】【个】【暖】【的】【呀】，【总】【算】【没】【白】【宠】【爱】【这】【个】【丫】【头】，【还】【记】【得】【他】。 “【咳】【咳】【咳】，【是】
【大】【汉】【用】【熊】【掌】【一】【样】【的】【大】【手】【使】【劲】【拍】【打】【上】【桌】【面】，【把】【那】【可】【怜】【的】【桌】【子】【拍】【成】【两】【半】，“【我】【呸】！【冷】【印】【是】【哪】【里】【钻】【出】【来】【的】【混】【蛋】？【这】【个】【名】【字】【我】【从】【来】【都】【没】【听】【过】！【一】【个】【无】【名】【小】【辈】【也】【敢】【出】【来】【跳】？” 【旁】【边】【再】【没】【人】【敢】【吱】【声】【了】。 【雪】【瑾】【在】【原】【地】【立】【刻】【一】【会】【儿】，【假】【装】【不】【经】【意】【地】【朝】【大】【汉】【那】【边】【走】【去】。【她】【一】【边】【走】【一】【边】【念】【叨】，“【也】【不】【知】【道】【冷】【印】【这】【个】【家】【伙】【到】【底】【跑】【哪】【儿】【去】【了】