Starbucks chairman and ceo Howard Schultz sent this message to all partners (employees) to wrap up the 2015 fiscal year and look ahead to 2016.
It's early Sunday, I'm sitting at the bar of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, enjoying the “nectar of the gods” in the form of my Doppio Espresso Macchiato.
As I reflect on our 44th year as a company, this is just where I want to be to write an end-of-year message.
The Roastery itself symbolizes our commitment to our roots as well as the risks we are willing to take to ensure our future is as innovative, as relevant and as meaningful as our past.
This year, in ways large and small, we continued to move closer to our aspirational goal of redefining the role and responsibility of a for-profit public company.
Behind the scenes, in our stores and in the headlines, we once again created long-term value for our shareholders, exceeded the expectations of our customers, and made you, our partners, proud.
Given all we have accomplished, it can be hard to believe that we are still in the early days of making unprecedented cultural and social impact in communities beyond our own, as well as for our own.
With 23,000 stores in 68 countries, the Starbucks brand and in-store experience has never been stronger or more relevant. Our global growth and development coupled with the innovation of mobile and digital customer-facing proprietary technology linked to loyalty, personalization, and MSR are also in their infant stages. New store formats and designs, and Starbucks Reserve stores, are evolving to have lives of their own. Soon, the next generation of Teavana stores will be unveiled, and The Roastery will open in cities around the world following our stunning debut in Seattle.
This week we will expand our commitment to sustainability with an innovative effort to distribute coffee trees to farmers in coffee growing regions around the world.
And we have made huge strides in our hiring commitments around honoring veterans, creating opportunity for at-risk young people and increasing the number of partners taking advantage of apprenticeships, university programs and the Starbucks College Achievement Plan for U.S. partners.
I promise you that more awaits us, as we continue to take the road less traveled and build the company globally.
Despite all this excitement and progress, we have more to do.
For our partners, the leadership team and I remain personally committed to further investment and innovation in the opportunities we create for you. This past year, we took major steps forward, raising wages, creating the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, investing in new technology tools, enhancing benefits and making several policies more relevant for the overall partner experience. We will continue to learn, listen and innovate on your behalf, moving quickly to keep building a company that creates unique opportunities for its people.
As the leader of our 300,000 partners who comprise our company, I am so proud of everyone in our organization. With great humility I thank you for your ongoing creativity, courage and daily contributions.
With deep respect and admiration.