5 key takeaways from the Starbucks shareholder meeting

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Starbucks held its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday following CEO Kevin Johnson’s announcement of his retirement from the company, effective April 4.

Here’s what you should remember from the shareholders’ meeting:

Starbucks intends to announce a new CEO by fall

This week, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced his retirement from the company, effective April 4. Starbucks founder and former CEO Howard Schultz will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is announced. At the shareholder meeting, the coffee giant hinted that the search for a new CEO was underway, with hopes of announcing Starbucks’ next CEO by the fall.

“During his time, Kevin expanded the reach of the business through the global coffee alliance with Nestlé, which now operates in nearly 80 markets,” the non-executive chairwoman of the Starbucks board said Wednesday. Melody Hobson. “He also designed and executed the large-scale growth program, which significantly increased shareholder value. Our digital platform is now a key driver of our interactions with our customers around the world. »

Expansion target is 55,000 stores by 2030

Starbucks is not slowing down its international expansion plans with a goal of reaching 55,000 stores worldwide by 2030.

“Continued investment in partner-focused initiatives will enable the company to continue to bring the Starbucks experience to a growing number of customers and satisfy their changing preferences for meeting customers wherever they are,” said Starbucks said in a statement.

Starbucks wants to become zero waste

With the announcement this week that Starbucks will completely phase out its iconic paper cups by 2025, the company is entering a new era of serious environmental stewardship. Starbucks announced at the shareholder meeting a plan to achieve long-term zero waste.

“I really feel like I’m working for a company that cares. In initiatives like switching to paper straws, the shift to eliminating unnecessary plastics and sustainable packaging is wonderful,” said Starbucks Chief Marketing Officer Brady Brewer at Wednesday’s shareholder meeting. “[…] We are starting with a 50% reduction in our carbon, water and waste footprints by 2030. Over the past two years, we have made significant progress towards these goals with coffee farmers, our suppliers, our licensees and our partners, with a focus on testing and innovation, and learning to create bold, scalable sustainability solutions, all for the good of people, coffee and the planet.

Company turns to unions as pressure mounts from critics

This week, as the Trillium Investor Group (among other high profile Starbucks investors) called out Starbucks for its apparent union-busting activities and after the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against the coffee chain for illegally penalizing two workers who sought to unionize their store, Starbucks briefly touched on labor relations struggles.

“I recognize that the evolving context of labor discussions continues to present uncertainties that require more progress on a point where different opinions exist,” Kevin Johnson said Wednesday. “But I want to assure our partners that regardless of the outcome, Starbucks’ fundamental commitment to its partners will remain. We have always been a people-centric company committed to doing well with our partners and our customers. Staying true to our Starbucks vision is the only real way forward.

He then detailed recent initiatives for salary increases, new benefits and improved equipment to make working life easier for employees.

Starbucks wants to become even more community-based

Starbucks on Wednesday announced a goal to “improve the lives of one billion people,” or one-eighth of the world’s population, by 2030 through more philanthropic and community initiatives like more community stores, and a commitment to “elevate” coffee workers. growing communities. Specific details about these initiatives were not given at the time.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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