WOODSIDE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The ASU + GSV Education Innovation Summit proudly announces Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz as a keynote speaker at its sixth annual premier event in education held at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 6-8. More than 2,300 visionary industry leaders from 225 companies in education, business, government and philanthropy will gather to spark new, leading-edge ideas that will drive actionable change and global enrichment. Schultz will join ASU President Dr. Michael Crow during a lunchtime session on Tuesday, April 7, to discuss entrepreneurship and innovation – including the game-changing partnership forged between Starbucks and ASU. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan was unveiled in 2014 to open up new educational opportunities for eligible Starbucks partners at U.S. company-operated stores to finish a bachelor’s degree delivered online at ASU.
Schultz has an unparalleled career as an innovator and business leader since joining Starbucks over three decades ago, when Starbucks had only a handful of stores. From the beginning, Howard set out to build a different kind of company - one that delivers record performance through the lens of humanity.
Before Starbucks was even a global or profitable company, Schultz created two landmark programs that formed the foundation of Starbucks people-centric culture. First, Starbucks offered comprehensive health coverage for eligible full- and part-time workers, among the first in the retail industry in 1988. Second, Starbucks offered partners (employees) equity in the company in the form of stock options, called Bean Stock in 1991, which has enabled partners to enjoy more than $1 billion in pre-tax gains since the program’s inception. These early investments in people have proven that it is possible to build a business that is profitable while sharing the company’s success with its people as well as the community.
Today, the company has grown to more than 21,000 stores in 66 countries, with 300,000 partners around the globe. Schultz continues to galvanize leaders both inside and outside the company to create pathways to opportunity and leverage Starbucks scale for good. Most recently, in a sincere desire to address the nation’s unacceptable employment rates in 2011, Schultz spearheaded Create Jobs for USA to raise funds for American small businesses, resulting in millions of dollars in donations benefiting thousands of Americans. Starbucks also launched an initiative to hire at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018, recognizing the considerable leadership and operational excellence veterans and military spouses could bring to the business and the fact that more than 1 million service men and women are transitioning back to civilian life over the next few years. As noted above, through an innovative partnership with ASU, Schultz and Dr. Crow introduced the Starbucks College Achievement Plan in 2013 and approximately 1,500 partners are currently enrolled in the program, taking advantage of ASU’s more than 40 top-ranked degree programs.
These are just some of the ways in which Starbucks is partnering with other business, community and government leaders to use its scale for good to create the next generation of leaders who will move our country forward.
Howard Schultz is chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks. Howard moved to Seattle from his native New York and joined the company in 1982 as director of operations and marketing when Starbucks had only four stores.
Howard has led a transformation of the company, bringing the company to sustainable, profitable growth with a renewed focus on Starbucks coffee heritage, innovation and the customer experience. He has been recognized extensively for his passion, leadership, and efforts to strengthen communities, with honors including receiving the 2013 Kellogg Award for Distinguished Leadership at Northwestern University for his commitment to employees and communities and being named Fortune’s 2011 Businessperson of the Year for delivering record financial returns for the company while leading an effort to spur job creation in the U.S.
TIME Magazine profiles Howard in a February 2015 cover story that acknowledges ways he is transforming Starbucks. He is the best-selling author of For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice (2014), Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (2011), and Pour Your Heart Into It (1997).