WASHINGTON: Howard Schultz, chief of Starbucks announced his retirement on monday putting forward more speculations regarding his participation in the 2020 presidential elections.
Schultz, 64, has been serving as executive chairman of Starbucks since stepping down as chief executive in April of last year and handing over to Kevin Johnson.
Schultz will leave the company at the end of the month and take on the honorary title of chairman emeritus, Starbucks said in a statement.
Schultz's announcement triggered immediate speculation that he may consider entering politics as a Democrat and run for the White House two years from now.
Schultz told The New York Times he hadn't decided on his next move yet, but "for some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world."
Schultz, who has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, said "one of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back."
"I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service, But I'm a long way from making any decisions about the future." he said, when asked if he was weighing a presidential run.
"I want to be of service to our country, but that doesn't mean I need to run for public office to accomplish that," Schultz told the Times.
Schultz joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing and helped transform the Seattle-based coffee chain company into a global behemoth with more than 28,000 outlets in 77 countries.
"I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for," Schultz said in an open letter to past and present Starbucks employees.
"Together we've done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility."