Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been politically active for many years.
He endorsed President Barack Obama in 2012, and has recently discussed the rumors that he intended to join in the presidential race last year. He has now come forward with his 2016 endorsement, stirring up loads of controversy along the way.
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‘I think it’s obvious that Hillary Clinton needs to be the next president. On the other side, we’ve seen such vitriolic display of bigotry and hate and divisiveness, and that is not the leadership we need for the future of the country.’
Schultz didn’t offer his full-throated support, but believes that Clinton is the obviously better choice compared to GOP nominee, Donald Trump. Schultz insisted that backing Clinton is not “a perfect situation, but I think it’s the right choice.”
He then hit us with another shocker and disappointment to many.
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‘Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray. I’m not done serving at Starbucks. Although we have built an iconic brand while providing even part-time employees with access to health care, free college education and stock options, there is more we can do as a public company to demonstrate responsible leadership.
‘The values of servant leadership — putting others first and leading from the heart — need to emerge from every corner of American life, including the business community.’
Schultz is not ruling out a political bid in the future, however. The CEO believes that his own life experience, having grown up in poverty in public housing in the Bronx, lends him a unique perspective in understanding the needs of the average American. Although Schultz said the time does not feel right to begin a career in politics, it’s definitely a consideration for the future.
Although some criticize the businessman’s involvement in political discourse, Schultz has stated in the past that he feels very strongly that businesses have a responsibility to open up conversations, especially in the current political climate.
‘People say: “Your role is to create shareholder value and profit; not to use Starbucks as a political tool.” It’s my grave concern about where the country is … and in fact, businesses and business people can do more.’