What You Need to Know About Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz

And the important contributions he made during his tenure.
IMAGE Stephen Brashear/Getty

In 1982 Howard Schultz was the marketing director for Starbucks. Five years later he bought the company, transformed it into a worldwide power, and spearheaded several social programs during his tenure. Now, the visionary leader of Starbucks is passing the torch (and by that we mean the doppio espresso macchiato, his afternoon drink) to Kevin Johnson, Starbucks President and COO.

"He is much better prepared to really manage the global operations of the company than I am at this state," Schultz said during an interview for CNBC's Squawk Box.

Here's what you need to know about the man behind the mermaid.

He's always had an affinity for coffee.
Not long after graduating, Schultz was the general manager for a Hammarplast, a Swedish drip coffee-maker manufacturer.

Even his peers think he's a success.
CEO of Nike and Apple have called his Seattle Roastery an "incomparable consumer experience." Schultz pioneered the upscale joint, which Starbucks plans to open worldwide because of it's success.

He's politically inclined.
Schultz has made major political contributions to Democrats, endorsing both President Obama and Obamacare.

But his heart remains with Starbucks.
He stepped down from Starbucks in 2000, only to return in 2008 to help the company during the financial crisis.

He has a big heart.
Another initiative on his list? Creating major job fairs for people in high unemployment areas. He also helped with employee education.

"By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity," said Schultz in the Los Angeles Times.

He's a self-made man.
His family lived in a Brooklyn housing project when he was growing up. They had limited insurance and severe financial difficulties. Schultz vowed to help people if he ever rose to a position of power.


He likes straight coffee.
"I don't like any of the drinks that have been pre-sweetened, in terms of frappuccino and things like that. Those are fabulous beverages, but I'm a purist when it comes to coffee."

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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