Starbucks’ CEO Schultz Readies for Smartphone Wallets Seeking to Create Communities of Coffee and Conversation

  Starbucks savior Howard Schultz, the owner, chairman and CEO of the world’s largest coffee chain, says there are already 5 million mobile payments per week at Starbucks stores and believes that in five to ten years everything will be paid for by mobile phones.

In the meantime he has branched out to tea when he bought Teavana for $620 million in 2012 in creating a community of coffee, tea, and conversation among Starbucks’ 70 million customers a week.

Schultz is somewhat of a contrarian CEO.  He urged that Congress be “fired” when the government was shut down and the deficit ceiling not lifted last year and has recently banned guns from all Starbucks’ establishments regardless of the state’s right-to-carry laws because of the climate of fear and consternation that firearms caused among some customers.

Recently, he and his wife announced a $30 million endowment for veterans to be channeled into help for families, job training, and suicide prevention. Furthermore, when he purchased the Starbucks franchise in 1987 after an eight year hiatus during which the chain nearly failed, he instituted health care coverage, 401Ks, and equity participation by employees.

Clearly, Schultz is an executive not fitting the mold of those who don’t want to risk controversy or try to make the 100 top compensated CEOs. Kudos to Starbucks and its leadership. Here is a brief interview Charlie Rose did with Schultz (time  bar at 40:22): http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60374560

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