When he left New York to go to college, Shultz's father was a broken man. He had never gotten ahead in any of his low-paying jobs and was rarely shown any respect by his employers. Because of his family's financial troubles, Schultz made the most of his college days, both athletically and academically. He received a bachelor's degree in business and marketing in 1975, proud to be the first member of his family to attend college.
In 1981, Howard Schultz, vice president and general manager of U.S. operations for Hammarplast—a Swedish maker of stylish kitchen equipment and housewares—noticed that Starbucks was placing larger orders than Macy's was for a certain type of drip coffeemaker.
Howard Schultz joins Starbucks in 1982. While on a business trip in Italy, he visits Milan’s famous espresso bars. Impressed with their popularity and culture, he sees their potential in Seattle. He’s right – after trying lattes and mochas, Seattle quickly becomes coffee-crazy.But back in Seattle, the Starbucks owners resisted Schultz's plans to serve coffee in the stores, saying they didn't want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz quit and started his own coffee-bar business, called Il Giornale. It was successful, and a year later Schultz bought Starbucks for $3.8 million.
In 1998 Howard Schultz had ample reason to be proud of what Starbucks had accomplished during his past 11 years as the company's CEO. The company had enjoyed phenomenal growth and become one of the great retailing stories of recent history by making exceptional coffee drinks and selling