Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee, is sharing the story of his company's struggles and successes over the years in his new book, "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul." The book is available tomorrow and Schultz will be donating all of the proceeds from book sales to the Starbucks Foundation.
The Starbucks Foundation was founded in 1997 to provide financial support to literacy programs in both the United States and Canada. In the past 14 years, the foundation’s focus has expanded, both in scope and in its service areas. Today, the Starbuck Foundation supports a variety of global efforts including youth leadership, clean water campaigns and helping rebuild the Gulf Coast.
In the book’s first chapter, Schultz reflects on the difficult decision to close the doors of all 7,100 US-based Starbucks stores in February 2008:
“Starbucks would lose several million dollars in sales and labor costs. That would be unavoidable. Competitors would capitalize on our absence and try to lure away our customers. Critics would gloat, cynics would smirk, and the always-unpredictable media scrutiny could be humiliating. On Wall Street, our stock could sink even lower. Most dangerous of all, such a massive retraining event would be perceived as our own admission that Starbucks was no longer good enough. But if I was honest with myself, I knew that that was the truth.” Source: Starbucks
This is just one example of how Schultz’s tough decisions helped shape the company over its 40-year history. Listen to Schultz discuss the book in the video below and read more about how Starbucks has incorporated sustainability into its business model.