SEATTLE -- Starbucks chief Howard Schultz signaled another step back from day-to-day operations, announcing Thursday he will hand over the CEO post in April to Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' president and chief operating officer.
Schultz, 63, will remain chairman and, as he explained in July, will concentrate his efforts on long-term global strategy and innovation. With his title upgraded to executive chairman, Schultz will be in charge of design and development of the company's high-end Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company's social impact initiatives, Seattle-based Starbucks said in a statement.
Johnson has been president and chief operating officer since March 2015, and runs the company's global operating businesses. The former Juniper Networks CEO was named Starbucks COO after Troy Alstead, seen as a potential successor to Schultz, took a yearlong leave in 2015 and then decided not to return.