Born in 1953 into a poor family in the Bronx, he overcame the odds of poverty attending Northern Michigan University on a scholarship. He was the Director of Retail Operations and Marketing for Starbucks in 1982, he then purchased Starbucks and became CEO in 1987.
Schultz likes coffee, but he’s passionate about “building a company that treats people with dignity and respect.” He said coffee is what Starbucks makes as a product, “but that’s not the business we’re in. The idea started long ago when his father was injured on the job, with no health insurance or worker’s comp. His family fell into great hardship. It left a lifelong impression on him. “It was not the calling of coffee, but the calling to try to building a company that my father never got a chance to work for,” said Schultz. “When we began Starbucks what I wanted to try to do was to create a set of values, guiding principles, and culture.” Shultz stated Starbucks was the first company in America to offer comprehensive health insurance and ownership in the form of stock options to all of its employees, including part-time workers.
His standout traits of love and caring for his employees are most likely what kept the company from going bankrupt. When he was serving as Chairman sales were plummeting and the stock was sinking. “We had lost our way,” he said. “The pursuit of profit became our reason for being and that’s not the reason that Starbucks is in business…we’re in the business of exceeding the expectations of our customers.” He returned as the CEO because of “love” and “passion”. Schultz requested 10,000 of Starbuck’s managers attend a four-day conference in New Orleans where he acted as communicator-in-chief. His goal was to “inspire” and to challenge employees to