Starbucks, Howard Schultz, and the Trump Effect (Simplified Chinese version)
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
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. In a strategy course, this case is best used later in the course to illustrate issues in corporate governance. After working through the case and completion of the assignment questions, students will be able to:
- illustrate how a firm can and sometimes should distance itself from a well-known former leader, even one who holds celebrity status;
- generate a discussion on corporate governance in the context of the fiduciary responsibility of former leaders of publicly traded organizations; and
- assess the impact of management preferences on firm performance, as measured by same-store growth and share price relative to the market.
Accommodation & Food Services
United States, Large, 2019
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