Starbucks Corp. said Monday it is still on track with its search for a successor chief executive, as stated on its quarterly earnings conference call last month. The coffee shop chain said Howard Schultz has agreed to remain as interim CEO through the first fiscal quarter of 2023. “This timeline provides the company the ideal runway for a seamless transition and continuity of leadership through the 2022 holiday season, as the business transformation continues,” the company said in a statement. The company is expecting to make a CEO announcement in the fall and for the official hadnoff to take place in the first calendar quarter of 2023. Schultz returned to the company he founded and led from 1986 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2017 in April. The executive told the Wall Street Journal that his successor will need expertise in a number of disciplines that the company does not have at present. Starbucks is a different chain now than it was in 2018, he said. Some problems are self-induced, but others due to changing consumer behavior during the pandemic. The company now sells far more to-go cold beverages than the hot coffee drinks taken at tables on sofas when it first started. Starbucks shares were up 1.5% premarket but have fallen 32% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 13.8%.
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