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Fri 2nd Dec 2016 - Howard Schultz to step down as Starbucks chief executive
Howard Schultz to step down as Starbucks chief executive: Howard Schultz is to step down as Starbucks chief executive for a second time next April. Schultz will become “executive chairman”, and the Kevin Johnson, chief operating officer, will step up to replace him. Schultz, who will remain chairman of the board, will devote time to furthering a “social impact agenda”, he said in a call with investors. His duties will also include developing new technologies for Starbucks stores. In 2000, Schultz left the chief executive position after running the company since 1987. In early 2008, he returned to steer it through the financial crisis after the company lost half its value on the stock market over the course of a single year. In his new position, Schultz will shift focus to “retail innovation”, the company said in a press release. Schultz said that he was “delighted” Johnson would take over his duties and said he would focus on finding “the balance between profit and conscience” with the company’s veteran-hiring programs and its anti-poverty programs. “I think we can all agree, Republican or Democrat, that there’s a lot of people being left behind and that companies can do more for the communities they serve and for the people they employ,” Schultz told investors. In a press release, Shultz said: “Starbucks consistently outperforms the retail industry because our stores, our offerings and the experiences our partners create make us a destination. The best evidence of the success of the core strategy driving our business is that we continue to deliver quarter after quarter of record, industry leading revenue, comp sales and profit growth, and that the newest classes of Starbucks stores continue to deliver record-breaking revenues, AUV’s and ROI both in the US and around the world. As I focus on Starbucks next wave of retail innovation, I am delighted that Kevin Johnson – our current president, coo, a seven-year board member and my partner in running every facet of Starbucks business over the last two years – has agreed to assume the duties of Starbucks chief executive officer. This move ideally positions Starbucks to continue profitably growing our core business around the world into the future.”

AB InBev to open first Goose Island pub pilot in London before Christmas: AB InBev is to roll out its first European group of pubs based on its popular US craft beer brand Goose Island with its first food-led pub pilot to open in London before Christmas, and a second site planned for the capital next year alongside a third in Belgium. The launch is the first venture for AB InBev’s so-called ‘brand experience’ division which it set up last year to grow its stable of craft beer brands. Toby Cowan, who heads up the new division, said the new Goose Island Vintage Ale House chain will offer customers “a different style of beer than many people are used to.” Cowan said its 765ml bottles of barrel-aged beers, often fermented using fruit and wild yeast, have more in common with wines than many commercial beers. The bitter brews pair well with food which will be a key focus of the 35-seat pilot project, he added. The first Vintage Ale House will be in Balham, south west London. Staff recruitment began earlier this week, saying the “well-funded, rapidly expanding” chain will offer a menu inspired by American smoke houses. AB InBev’s $39m (£31m) acquisition of Chicago-based Goose Island in 2011 kick-started a string of deals in which major drinks companies bought successful craft beer start-ups in a bid to tap the consumer trend for high-end niche brews. Goose Island first opened for business as a pub with in-house brewery in Chicago in 1988, with its larger brewery and a second pub following in the late Nineties before the boom in craft ale caught the attention of major drinks companies.

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