Feb 27, 2018

Starbucks chairman says he's not running for president

Starbucks founder Howard Schultz. Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz this morning batted down speculation that he plans to run for president, in an interview on Fox Business Network.

No I'm not.
— Howard Schultz, after being asked if he'll run in 2020.

Here's a transcript:

FBN's Maria Bartiromo: Are you going to run for president in 2020, Howard?
Schultz: “No I’m not – here we are sitting at Starbucks because of my day job as executive chairman on the heels of opening the most successful Starbucks store in our history in China, now we’re opening reserve stores. I’m trying to do everything I can to benefit our shareholders as executive chairman and I think as a private citizen, I’m very concerned to doing everything I can to elevate the national conversation to things that are not based on ideology but really trying to walk in the shoes of the American people and doing everything I possibly can to try and get some real, sensible levels of conversation that represent both sides.”
Bartiromo: “You are always seeing your position as a responsibility to bring people together. I know that, so just to clarify, you said you are not going to run for president?
Schultz: “I said I am doing everything I possibly can as a private citizen to advance the cause of the country.”
Bartiromo: “It sounds like you are running for president, Howard.”
Schultz: “No I didn’t say that. Come on, Maria.”

Schultz also criticized the recent tax changes, saying it was a "corporate tax cut" instead of "comprehensive tax reform... [that] could have done a lot more to help so many Americans who are being left behind.”

Go deeper

Premier League players launch fund to help U.K. medical workers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Premier League players have launched an initiative called #PlayersTogether, which will funnel part of their salaries to the National Health Service to support the U.K.'s front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: This decision came at the conclusion of a protracted argument between players, clubs and even government officials over who should bear the brunt of lost revenue in the midst of the pandemic.

GOP sees more hurdles for Trump as coronavirus crisis drags on

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans are increasingly concerned not only about President Trump’s daily briefings but also his broader plan to ease the nation out of the virus crisis and back to work. This concern is acute — and spreading. 

Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.