While Howard Schultz was not the founder of Starbucks, his vision for the company and his creativity put Starbucks on the map. He saw the potential the company had well beyond the vision of its founders, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker. Schultz took the six-store Seattle coffee company and grew it into a $23.7 billion S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100 conglomerate. When Schultz ﬁrst entered the picture, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice was a small coffee retailer with four stores in the Seattle area. Schultz, then vice president and general manager of the U.S. division of Hammarplast, a Swedish maker of plastic products, traveled to Seattle to investigate the small coffee company that was placing larger orders than Macy’s for Hammarplast’s drip coffeemaker. The New Yorker came away im-
ANALYZING FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
pressed with the passion the owners had for selling and educating people about top-quality, fresh-roasted whole-bean coffee. ‘‘It was just wonderful meeting people from a great young company. . . . I walked away from that meeting saying, ‘God, what a great company, what a great city! I’d love to be part of that.’ ’’ Schultz spent the next year trying to convince the owners to hire him as their marketing manager and buy into his vision of taking their coffee company international. He even offered to take a salary cut in exchange for a small equity stake in the business. But his grand vision and brazenness scared them so much they rejected his offer. Schultz, however, would not take no for an answer. And he said, ‘‘I think that sometimes the difference between success and failure, winning and losing, is a very ﬁne line between those people who will continue to move forward and those who give up. I have a history of people closing doors and me saying, ‘No, it’s still open.’ ’’ Changing tactics, Schultz made a last-ditch appeal with a scaled-down expansion plan and was hired the... [continues]
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