Starbucks and Howard Schultz Recognized for Leadership


Starbucks is named one of the world’s most ethical companies, while Howard Schultz is honored as one of the “world’s greatest leaders” and earns a top-10 spot on an employee-rated survey of executives.

In three separate announcements today, the Ethisphere Institute, Fortune and Glassdoor recognized Starbucks and Schultz – the company’s chairman, president and ceo.

For the eighth year in a row, Starbucks is one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies,” according to the Ethisphere Institute. Ethisphere announced the 2014 winners at a two-day Global Ethics Summit, a gathering of about 300 lawyers, corporate managers and executives who discuss ethics and compliance.

Companies are evaluated in several categories: Reputation, Leadership and Innovation; Ethics and Compliance Program; Governance; Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; Culture of Ethics.

“Throughout our history, Starbucks has embedded acting ethically as a cornerstone to our culture and to how we work every day. Our partners (employees) are passionate about doing business the right way and it shows through the way we treat each other, our customers, business partners and communities,” said Matthew Swaya, Starbucks senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer.

In an interview with Ethisphere magazine, Swaya said Starbucks partners motivate him every day because “they reside at the core of our company and our culture.”

Starbucks partners had a hand in rating Howard Schultz as one of the country’s top chief executives in 2014.  

Every year the career website Glassdoor lists its “Highest Rated CEOs” based on company reviews submitted by employees. Schultz is number 8 on the 2014 list with a 93 percent approval rating from partners. Schultz moved up from 19th on the employee-rated survey for 2013 when he had a 92 percent approval rating.

“We find on Glassdoor that a strong leader is often one who has the ability to clearly communicate the vision for the company and who helps employees see how their work connects to the big picture. In addition, top-rated CEOs are commonly seen as relatable, accessible, and transparent,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor Co-Founder and CEO.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, with a 100 percent approval rating, unseated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from the number one spot. Zuckerberg dropped to number 9, behind Schultz.

Schultz also makes Fortune’s first list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” Pope Francis, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, is number one. The pontiff is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally. Fortune ranks Schultz number 29.

“A small Seattle coffee retailer has become 20,000 shops worldwide under Schultz’s leadership, with many more planned,” the magazine said of Schultz. “Crucially, he understood that he was creating an experience, not selling a product. Far ahead of most CEOs, he saw the value of offering medical insurance to all employees, even part-timers, and pursuing environmental and social projects that inspire employees and attract customers.”

thumbnail for Highlights from Starbucks Investor Day 2022 

Highlights from Starbucks Investor Day 2022