WASHINGTON: Howard Schultz, who built a small Seattle coffee shop into the global powerhouse Starbucks, announced Monday he was retiring from the company, fueling speculation he may run for president as a Democrat in 2020.
Schultz, 64, has been serving as executive chairman of Starbucks since stepping down as chief executive in April.
Schultz will leave the company at the end of the month and will take on the title of chairman emeritus, Starbucks said in a statement.
Schultz’s announcement triggered immediate speculation that he may consider entering politics – including running for president in 2020.
He told The New York Times that he hadn’t decided on his next move yet, but “for some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country – the growing division at home and our standing in the world.”
Schultz, who has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, said “one of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back.”
“I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service,” he added, when asked if he was weighing a presidential run.
“But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”