Tuesday, January 29, 2019
What do you do when your founder considers a run for President over loud opposition? This is the position Starbucks finds itself in. Howard Schultz is publicly noodling whether to run as an independent for the White House, and Democrats are terrified he will split the ranks and give another four years to Trump. They are threatening a boycott of Starbuck stores if Schultz decides to go ahead. What is Starbucks to do? It can't easily divorce itself from its founder and long-time CEO. Schultz is branded with the stores. He had been the face of the company for decades. The company will probably maintain silence. What else can it do other than note that Schultz no longer works there, and it is his right to do as he pleases as a private citizen? It would be dangerous for the company to publicly support him. Meanwhile, media monitoring at the company must be a challenge.