Howard Schultz was born in 1952 and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., housing project. A football scholarship to Northern Michigan University was his ticket out and after graduating he worked a variety of jobs until he became manager of U.S. operations for Hammarplast, a small Swedish kitchenware importer. He is now married with two children, ages 18 and 15. Schultz never dreamed he would preside over a business stretching from Seattle to Shanghai.
A football scholarship took Schultz to Northern Michigan University, where he earned a degree in communications, then to University of Colorado- Boulder where he earned his BA. His major in communications has helped him accomplish other positions such as: Board of DreamWorks Animation and Chairman of Basketball Club of Seattle.
His time in high school and college were spent mostly focused on football and his interest in sports, never did he imagine he would become the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. He was told to be one of the biggest sports enthusiasts in his class, mainly in baseball and basketball. He was also a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon at UNM.
Shultz adventure started in 1981 when he traveled from New York to Seattle to check out a popular coffee bean store called Starbucks, that has been buying many of Hammarplast Swedish drip coffeemakers he was selling. It took Schultz a year to convince the Starbucks owner to hire him. In 1982, he joined the Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle as the Director of Marketing. When they finally made him director of marketing and operations in 1982, he had another epiphany.
This epiphany occurred in Milan, Italy, when Schultz took note of the coffee bars that existed on practically every block. He learned that they not only served excellent espresso, but they also served as meeting places or public squares. Schultz tried to convince the owners of Starbucks to offer this kind of environment by adding espresso and reforming their café, but the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn’t want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz started his own coffee shop named II Giornale in 1985. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet’s Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and II Giornale with the Starbucks name and aggressively expanded Starbucks’ reach across the United States.
The mission of Howard Schultz is about treating people with respect and dignity, and not just words but a creed to live by every day. You can’t just expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employee’s expectations of management. That is the contract of Starbucks.
Schultz was awarded “The Israel 50 th Anniversary Tribute Award” in 1998, from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for “playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel.”
The company was formed by three college students who created the Starbucks name and logo after discovering classic, nautical characters in literature and art. The two-tailed siren depicted on the logo is a creature of strength and power, and is common in medieval adventure tales.