A message of thanks to partners from Kevin: Starbucks has been a gift in my life

Dear Partners, 

A year ago, I signaled to the Starbucks Board of Directors that as the pandemic neared an end, I would consider retirement. Well, that day has come. 

As I make this transition, we are very fortunate to have our founder, Howard Schultz, who is able to step in on an interim basis, giving the Board time to further explore potential candidates and make the right long-term succession decision for the company. 

When I say that Starbucks has been a gift in my life, I am really talking about all of you — all Starbucks partners, past and present, around the world. 

Today is my 14th Annual Meeting of Shareholders, first as a member of the Board of Directors, then as coo, and the past five years as ceo. 

Today’s Annual Meeting will also be my last as a Starbucks partner. 

I want to express my gratitude for all that you do and for all that you have taught me about this wonderful company. 

You are the heartbeat of Starbucks and together, we are united around a common Mission – a purpose that goes beyond the pursuit of profit – to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time. 

Together, we live a set of values that embody compassion, empathy, and support of each other. As partners we work in service of each other, our customers, and our communities. 

And to you, my Starbucks partners, I want to offer a heartfelt thank you. 

You welcomed me in your stores around the world. We shared stories together in hundreds of partner roundtables and open forums. You taught me what it means to be a partner. When visiting stores, I often put on the green apron and stepped behind the bar where you would indulge me in a beverage “throw down” challenge. I know you let me win some of those flat white competitions! Please know that I have fond memories of making beverages together, laughing together, and sharing stories with one another. Fond memories of how we overcame challenges and pursued opportunity… together. 

You are the heartbeat of Starbucks, Our Starbucks, and it has been an honor working in service of YOU! 

As always, I am filled with gratitude and optimism for the future of Starbucks. 

Thank you. 

Your partner always,