Message from Howard Schultz: On the Future of Starbucks

Dear Starbucks partners (employees), customers, communities and shareholders,

I love Starbucks. Many of you do, too. We all have a stake in our future. It is something we all share. And this serves as an invitation to come build it.

This is my first note on the job as I return as ceo.

Our company, like many companies, is facing new realities in a changed world. Pinched supply chains, the decimation caused by COVID, heightened tensions and political unrest, a racial reckoning and a rising generation which seeks a new accountability for business.

As Starbucks, we can either choose to rise to this moment — or stand idle. 

I am returning to the company to work with all of you to design that next Starbucks — an evolution of our company deep with purpose, where we each have agency and where we work together to create a positive impact in the world.   

My first work is to spend lots of time with partners. To lift up voices. To see everything that is already in play to help us become this kind of company. To invent. To face challenges — and for us each to be transparent with one another and become accountable for building the future of our company.  

Our vision is to once again reimagine a first-of-a-kind for-purpose company in which the value we create ­— for each of us as partners, for each of us as customers, for our communities, for the planet, for shareholders — comes because our company is designed to share success with each of us and for the collective success of all our stakeholders.  

Today, I’m outlining some first, essential steps:

  • Starting immediately, we are suspending our share repurchasing program. This decision will allow us to invest more profit into our people and our stores — the only way to create long-term value for all stakeholders.
  • In the weeks ahead, I will be traveling, along with our leaders, to connect with partners in our stores and manufacturing plants around the world to understand your thinking and ideas about how to build this next Starbucks.
  • And beyond, we will then engage in design sessions with partners of all levels across the organization to co-create a future of mutual thriving in a multi-stakeholder era. We see these sessions as the deepest form of inventing together we’ve ever attempted as a community.

This will get us started in the right next direction.  

I look forward to this next chapter.

Onward, together,

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Starbucks new lavender drinks offer a taste of spring for everyone