Dear Starbucks partners—past and present,

On June 26, 2018, I will leave Starbucks after almost 40 years. I do so with a great deal of emotion. It has been an incredible journey because of the love and commitment of tens of thousands of people who shared a vision: to create a company that treats all people with respect and dignity.

Many of you know my personal history. I grew up in the Brooklyn housing projects and was the first in my family to go to college. In 1981, while on a business trip in Seattle, I discovered a small coffee company that changed my life. When I became head of Starbucks it had just eleven stores and less than 100 employees. Today there are more than 28,000 stores and more than 350,000 partners (employees) in more than 75 countries.

There is so much to be thankful for. I’m most proud that Starbucks was one of the first businesses to offer health insurance and stock options to those who work full- and part-time. Our benefits have helped many of you care for families, buy homes, pay down debt, and go to college debt free.

On June 26th, I will be honored to accept the title of Starbucks chairman emeritus. I leave with so many treasured memories, but also so very optimistic about the future. I still have the same curiosity that’s fueled me all these years, and a relentless passion to enhance the lives of others.

I encourage and welcome your thoughts about what comes next…



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