FEATURED IVEY CASE
Starbucks, Howard Schultz, and the Trump Effect
W. Glenn Rowe, Ken Mark
Product Number: 9B19M117
Publication Date: 09/18/2019
Length: 12 pages (6 pages of text)
After the former chief executive officer (CEO) of U.S.-based Starbucks started to voice his political opinions in September 2016, both Starbucks and the CEO faced backlash. As the CEO and former chairman of a large company, he may have felt entitled to voice his opinion as an individual voter. However, public backlash—from both sides of the U.S. political spectrum—suggested that commentators, looking to respond to him, were actually targeting Starbucks. In 2019, the challenge for Starbucks’ new CEO was to find a way to tactfully extricate Starbucks from political conversations. This case is designed for use at the undergraduate or graduate level in courses on strategic management, business policy and regulation, or corporate strategy. It is also suitable for an elective course in corporate governance.