7 Things to Know About Starbucks 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

On March 22, Starbucks outlined its plan for strong global growth to an audience of shareholders at the company’s 25th Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Seattle. From a change in leadership to the future of on-the-go ordering and a hiring commitment to veterans, Opportunity Youth and refugees, learn the top highlights from Starbucks.

1. Schultz passes key to Johnson

Chairman and ceo Howard Schultz commemorated his final Annual Meeting, 25 years after Starbucks initial public offering. Schultz is taking on a new role as executive chairman on April 3, focusing on design and development of the Starbucks premium brand and the company’s social impact initiatives. On stage, he gave incoming ceo Kevin Johnson the key to the company’s original Pike Place Market store. Johnson, current president and chief operating officer, has been a member of the Board of Directors for seven years.

  • A shareholder who invested $1,000 in Starbucks stock at the IPO would have $180,000 today. Over the 25 years, Starbucks has returned $10 billion to shareholders in dividends and share repurchases.

2. 10,000 veterans already hired as partners; new goal announced

Starbucks has reached its commitment to hiring 10,000 veterans by 2018 a year early and will double down,, promising to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025. As part of its longtime commitment to veterans, 32 Military Family Stores have been opened adjacent to bases, employing mostly veterans and military spouses; 100 more stores to support military communities will be dedicated across the United States over the next five years.

  • The company has also exceeded its goal to hire 10,000 unemployed youth by 2018 (“Opportunity Youth” – an estimated 4.9 million young Americans not working or in school), with 40,000 already hired. The new commitment announced today is to hire 100,000 Opportunity Youth by 2020.
  • New partnerships with UNHCR, International Rescue Committee, Tent Foundation and No One Left Behind will help support the hiring of 10,000 refugees worldwide. In the U.S., the focus will be on resettling interpreters, personnel and their families who served alongside U.S. forces.

3. New college assistance program announced

All U.S. partners who work 20 hours per week or more are already eligible for full tuition reimbursement through Starbucks College Achievement Plan, in partnership with Arizona State University online. Today’s announcement of the Pathway to Admission program means the company will pay for classes and coaching for partners who want a college degree, but need further academic credentials to be eligible for admission.

4. Premium pipeline expanding

The Starbucks Reserve® Roastery was the first of what will eventually be up to 30 immersive experiential coffee cafes and retail space. Roastery locations are planned for Shanghai (2017), New York (2018), Milan (2018) and Tokyo (2018). The Roastery is an incubator for Starbucks Research and Development, already creating new beverages that are now featured in stores worldwide – from nitro cold brew to a Cascara Latte.

5. New lunch menu debuts; leftovers donated nightly

As consumer tastes evolve and demand for food items continues to grow, Starbucks will launch a lunch menu of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches made daily – with the leftovers donated nightly to local food banks through the Starbucks FoodShare program. The new menu, Mercato, features options that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles. The Mercato menu will start with more than 100 stores in Chicago on April 11, with plans to expand nationwide.

6. Mobile innovation makes ordering even easier

Later this year, the Mobile Order & Pay platform will enable Ford drivers (in cars equipped with SYNC 3) to place a voice order via an integration with Amazon Alexa: “Alexa, ask Starbucks to start my order.”

7. More job creation, more stores

Starbucks already employs 330,000 partners in 75 countries and plans to open 12,000 new stores globally, with 3,400 of the new stores in the United States by fiscal year 2021. That means Starbucks will create more than 240,000 new jobs – 68,000 in the United States.

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