Howard Mark Schultz is a businessman and writer from America most known for being the founder of Starbucks. Inspired by the tempting aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, Schultz established a billion dollar becoming one of the richest men in the U.S.
Howard Schultz was born on 19th July 1953 in Brooklyn, New York to a lower middle class family. He studied at the Canarsie High School graduating in 1971. Schultz was very good at sports and was awarded an athletic scholarship to the Northern Michigan University where he studied communications. After graduating from university in 1975 he got a job at Xerox Corporation where he spent four years. His next job was at a Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer named Hammarplast. Schultz had to visit a coffee bean shop called ‘Starbucks Coffee Company’ based in Seattle for Hammarplast. He was very inspired by their dedication and recognized its potential business opportunity. A year later he joined them as Director of Marketing. During his visit to Milan, Italy, Schultz was further encouraged as he saw dozens of coffee shop lined on almost every street. They were not just places to buy coffee; they served the purpose of a meeting place and a place to relax. He returned with the idea of adding traditional espresso beverages to the menu. The concept was very well received by the public however the owners of Starbucks did not agree to take the café idea company wide.
Schultz was very frustrated at the refusal because he wanted much more. So in 1985, he opened his own coffee shop which he called ‘il Giornale’. After two years Schultz purchased Starbucks for $3.8 million. He renamed his own shop ‘Starbucks’ and started aggressive expansion all over the country. Howard Schultz did not want to sell its franchises and decided to keep the possession of every domestic outlet. Schultz was a very generous employer. He initiated some practices that really helped increase the loyalty of his employees. He said that although the main goal of the company was to ‘serve a great cup of coffee’, he wanted to ‘build a company with a soul’. He wanted his employees to work 20 hours a week and get complete health coverage and a stock-option plan. Starbuck underwent heavy expansion in the 1990s and in 1992 went public. Schultz was also the owner of Seattle Supersonics.
Howard Schultz has been given several awards for his superb achievements. He was given the ‘Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award’ in 1998 for playing a significant role in the promotion of a close alliance between the U.S and Israel. He was awarded with the ‘National Leadership Award’ for his philanthropic efforts to combat AIDS in 1999. In 2004, he received the ‘International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award’ from the University of Manitoba for his remarkable success and admirable conduct of Starbucks. He got the FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award in 2007. Schultz was named ‘Businessperson of the Year’ in 2011 by Fortune magazine for his creativities in the job market.