Grounds For Success
Coffee talk with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Everyone knows Starbucks, the ubiquitous retail chain that sells coffee beverages, beans and accessories, but few know Howard Schultz, the self-effacing chairman, CEO and mastermind behind Starbucks' astonishing growth.
A child of Brooklyn's Bayview Projects, Schultz earned a bachelor's degree in communications, worked as a salesman for Xerox, and eventually became vice president of U.S. operations for a Swedish housewares manufacturer. It was there that he noticed a four-store retailer in Seattle was ordering a large number of his company's drip coffee makers. He decided to find out why, and he scheduled a sales trip to Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice in 1981. Schultz was so impressed with the then-10-year-old company's dedication to providing customers with quality imported coffee beans, he signed on as director of Starbucks' retail operations and marketing the following year.
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