Former longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will return to the company on an interim basis as recent CEO Kevin Johnson plans to step down.

Why it matters: Schultz will take over for Starbucks as it plans to move past the COVID-19 pandemic and as there has been a rise in unions for barista workers, per The Wall Street Journal.

Related
Possible presidential candidate Howard Schultz postpones Utah visit
Howard Schultz decides against 2020 presidential run

What’s happening: Starbucks said Johnson will step down from his post after a five-year stint at the top of the company.

  • Johnson, who is CEO and a board director, will retire from his position on April 4.
  • However, Johnson will remain a key adviser, per WSJ.
  • Schultz will then take over as an interim CEO.

What they’re saying: “A year ago, I signaled to the Board that as the global pandemic neared an end, I would be considering retirement from Starbucks. I feel this is a natural bookend to my 13 years with the company,” Johnson said in a statement, per CNBC.

The backstory: Schultz previously served as CEO from 1986 to 2000, per Forbes. He later returned to the position from 2008 to 2017.

  • The company said Schultz — who is a multibillionaire — will make $1 in salary, per Forbes.

What’s next: Starbucks plans to hire a full-time CEO by the fall.

  • “We’re not going to hire over Zoom, I can tell you that,” the chair of Starbucks’ board, Mellody Hobson, told CNBC.