Howard Schultz has been in the headlines lately, thanks to speculation that he may run for president in 2020. Many have even speculated that he stepped down as CEO of Starbucks to set up his 2020 run for president. The former CEO has all but announced that he will run for president and the public uproar is strong. But where did this man come from, would he be a good president, and is he worth more than Donald Trump?
Schultz came from humble beginnings
Schultz wasn’t always the rich and powerful man that he is today. Although he is worth billions now, life wasn’t always so easy. As a child, Schultz grew up in public housing. As he put it, he “grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.” He was born and raised in Brooklyn, but his natural ability got him the break he was looking for. In 1970, he left Brooklyn to attend Northern Michigan University on a football scholarship.
The Brooklyn native found Starbucks
The route that Schultz took to become CEO of Starbucks is anything but traditional. Schultz graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in communications. After college, he went to work as a coffee maker salesman at a company called Hammarplast. He soon realized that a little company called Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice Company was buying a lot of coffee makers.
Schultz went to Starbucks and met with its founders. Within a year, he was hired as director of retail operations and marketing. Shortly after, he began to aggressively work to grow Starbucks into the national conglomerate it has become.
The billionaire has proven he has the qualities of a presidential hopeful
If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that you do not need political experience to be elected as President of the United States. Rather, you need to have a platform and get people to believe in you (and honestly, a little money doesn’t hurt). Schultz has proven that not only does he support social justice, but he is also an excellent communicator.
When discussing his initial meeting with the former CEO of Starbucks, co-founder Zev Siegl said, “My impression of Howard at that time was that he was a fabulous communicator.” These communication skills were helpful in promoting Schultz from director of retail operations and marketing to CEO in just five years.
Schultz has been praised for his belief in equality and social justice. In 2013, he made a statement in support of gay marriage, telling critics that “not every decision is an economic decision.” He later was recognized for his support of racial equality after he mandated racial sensitivity for all Starbucks stores after a controversial incident at a Philadelphia store.
Will he run for president?
There has been speculation for quite a while that Schultz might run for president someday, but he has never really addressed the talk —until this month. On January 28, Schultz appeared on the news show 60 Minutes and said that he is “seriously considering running for president.” But Schultz said he would not run as a Democratic nominee, but instead as a centric independent.
Schultz is already getting backlash for his announcement. Many wonder, why run as an independent? Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal, says “If he wants to run, he should run as a Democrat.” The primary concern is that an independent nominee could take votes away from the Democratic party and effectively re-elect Donald Trump.
How much is Howard Schultz Worth?
Schultz just barely edges out President Trump in net worth, with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion. This is just above Trump’s $3.1 billion. So the question is, will there be a new billionaire in the Oval Office?