Nation & World

Starbucks boardroom door remains open to Howard Schultz

He'll hold the title of chairman emeritus for the rest of his life

Seattle Times/TNS

Master Milanese baker Rocco Princi (left) is seen with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz. Schultz will retire from the company’s board of directors.
Seattle Times/TNS Master Milanese baker Rocco Princi (left) is seen with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz. Schultz will retire from the company’s board of directors.

SEATTLE — Howard Schultz may be taking off the green apron, but the strings tying him to Starbucks won’t be fully severed, according to new regulatory filings.

The Seattle coffee giant announced Monday that Schultz would retire June 26 as executive chairman and board member of the company with which he’s been inseparably associated since the mid-1980s.

His retirement agreement includes an advisory role that stretches well into pumpkin-spice-latte season, accelerated vesting of stock options that he had previously waived for the company’s benefit, a $1.9 million performance bonus and an unusual lifetime invitation to board meetings — with some caveats.

For the rest of his days, Schultz, 64, will have the honorary — and uncompensated — position of “chairman emeritus,” according to the agreement inked with the Starbucks board on June 1.

In addition to lifetime access to the corporate headquarters, including his parking space, Schultz will be “entitled to attend and observe” company board meetings, according to his retirement agreement.

The board chair can exclude Schultz from meetings for legal reasons, to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest, or for other reasons.

Starbucks is retaining Schultz as an adviser through Oct. 30. He will not be paid his base salary, which was $1 in the company’s 2017 fiscal year, as he stopped serving as chief executive.

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