Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz steps down - is a White House run next?

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Howard Schultz previously stepped back from his role at the company in 2016 when he left his duties as CEO and became executive chairman. The company's subsequent reaction - a series of policy changes and last week's high-profile closure of 8,000 US stores to provide anti-racial bias training to 175,000 employees - marked what Schultz called the start of a new era at Starbucks.

Howard Schultz announced he is stepping down from Starbucks, where he is executive chairman, effective June 26.

Mr. Schultz, who grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, said watching his father, a World War II veteran who became a truck driver and later a taxi driver, struggle to make enough money to pay for basics had led him to offer complete health benefits for full- and part-time employees and their domestic partners, a first for such a chain.

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In another twist, Schultz, 64, said he is considering the possibility of a 2020 presidential election run.

Speculation has swirled for years that Schultz might run for president. New York Times recently asked Schultz about this, and while he wouldn't directly answer questions, he suggested that he hasn't ruled out a future in politics and public service.

'For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country - the growing division at home and our standing in the world'.

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Schultz's move comes after he ceded the day-to-day duties of CEO at Starbucks previous year to focus on innovation and social impact projects as executive chairman.

Mr Schultz also offered a harsh assessment of his own firm last month, after Starbucks called police to report two black customers waiting for a friend, leading to their arrest for trespassing.

In the meantime, he plans on working on his family foundation, and writing a book about the social responsibility companies have.

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Myron Ullman, former CEO of J.C. Penney, will take over for Schultz.