Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to step down

Features Reuters

Copyright Reuters 2016

(Copyright Reuters 2016)

Starbucks Corp said Howard Schultz will be stepping aside as chief executive officer of the company, to focus on its high-end coffee shops as executive chairman.

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The company's shares were down 3.3 percent at $56.78 in after market trading on Thursday.

Kevin Johnson, chief operating officer at Starbucks, will take over as chief executive of the company on April 3, 2017, Starbucks said in a statement.

"Howard Schultz...will shift his focus to innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format and the company's social impact initiatives," the company said.

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)