Starbucks founder and former CEO Howard Schultz stepped down from the company’s board of directors this week.
The Seattle-based coffee giant said Mr. Schultz leaving the board is part of a planned transition.
“As I reflect on my 41 years with the company, a foundation of love and creative, passionate customer experience has been built by over 5 million partners (employees) around the world who have worked in the company,” Mr. Schultz said in a statement. “My gratitude to them and the millions of stakeholders and customers that have helped Starbucks endure is beyond measure. I am enormously blessed to have experienced this journey from the ground floor at the company these many years.”
According to the company, Mr. Schultz is now chairman emeritus.
The transition from his board position comes after he was replaced as CEO of the company this spring by Laxman Narasimhan.
While running the company, Mr. Schultz turned Starbucks into an iconic brand.
He also oversaw a wave of unionization efforts in Starbucks locations in the U.S. The company is in the middle of several legal battles with its union as well as national regulators over alleged unfair labor practices.