Exclusive - Howard Schultz Extended Interview

September 8, 2016 - Howard Schultz 09/08/2016 Views: 6,626

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talks about the launch of "Upstanders," a series that profiles everyday activism, and explains why he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. (8:41)

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My guest tonight is the chairmanand CEO of Starbucks.

Please welcome Howard Schultz.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Welcome. Thank youso much for being here.

First of all, I have toapologize, Howard.

Uh... I got your nameon your cup written wrong.

We were trying to write...

And I don't knowwho did that.

I don't even knowhow that happened.

I'm so sorry. I, uh,I really don't know...

-No-no problem, Trevor.No problem. -That's just a...

a horrible, horrible mistakethat happened.

Welcome to the show.Welcome to the show.

Thank you for being here.

Um, so let'sjump straight into it.

I wa-want to go backfor a second.

I mean, you ... you areat the head of, honestly,

one of the most recognizableand successful franchises

in the world.Uh, you're also responsible for,

I guess, most of the excitementin the world

between the hours of, like,6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

-We-we try our best.-You-you, yeah,

you really do try your best.

Uh, but there is a bit ofresponsibility, I feel, you...

Do you think thatyou have contributed

to Donald Trump's popularityby introducing

pumpkin-pumpkin spice lattes?Do you think...

Are you talking aboutthe color of his...

That is ex...

You see, what I likeis I didn't say anything

and because you assumed that, itmeans I was in the right place.

(cheering, applause)

It's quite a...quite a thing, isn't it?

Well, I was reading your mind.

Uh, let's-let's talk about,uh, politics and the world

and everything thatStarbucks is involved in,

because it would be so easyfor a company like Starbucks

to just be involvedin making coffee, making money.

But it always seems like youhear Starbucks

involved in other conversations.For instance,

there was the whole debacle,I guess, around, uh,

Starbucks being involvedin conversations around race,

which went horribly wrong.

I-I'm not so sure about that.

I mean, I don't thinkit was a debacle.

We are still talking about it.And, certainly,

there is a great needin this country

to be talking about raceand race relations

and what still is going onin most communities in America.

That's true.That is very true.

How did you thinkyou were going to achieve that

in a coffee shop, though?

-Well, if you think... -Like,don't you think maybe you should

have given the-the coffeedifferent names

to maybe spur that on, you know?

Like... like,maybe have someone order...

"Can I please have a Hands UpDon't Shoot and a..."

Just to get more of it...I don't... Like, how did you...

I... Genuinely, I'm fascinated.'Cause it's the right thing

to do, but I'm really fascinatedas to... as to what you hoped

-to achieve there. -You wereso nice in the green room.

-I'm still nice now!-You were... you were so nice.

-I'm still nice now! I'mstill nice now. -Man. How-how...

-What do you mean?-How quickly they forget!

No, I'm so nice now.You know what happened is

I had some coffeebefore you came out, and now

-I'm just like... I'm excited.I'm excited. -No. No, but...

-But can I answer the question?-Yes, yes, of course.

In a serious way. We'd startedout from the very beginning

to build a different kindof company,

-to balance profitwith conscience, -Yeah.

to do everything we couldto not only make a profit

-but to advance the causeof what our purpose is -Yeah.

and reason for being.And we believe, as a company,

that the rules of engagementfor being a public company today

is not just to make money.And so we want to be involved

in raisingthe national conversation

about things that really matter.

And as a result of that, today,the reason I'm-I'm here,

I guess, is because we haveintroduced an important subject

around Upstanders. There isa fracturing of our politics,

of leadership. Great storiesof ordinary Americans

doing extraordinary thingsare not being told,

and we launched a seriesto really shine a light

on great people in Americawho are doing fabulous things.

It-it really is the...taking the ne... the next step.

Because, I mean,I-I joke about these things,

but the truth is a lot of peopledon't want to talk about race.

A lot of people don't wantto talk about the hardships

going on in America. And, um,what I loved about the series

that-that Starbuckshas really come out with is...

Upstanders. It's an original series

that Starbucks has created, um,

I guess, showcasing peoplewho are doing amazing things.

First question is why. Secondquestion is what inspired it.

Well, given the... the backdropof this political season,

and the lack of civility,the lack of respect,

how vitriolic it's been,I think...

You would, you would thinkthat the-the country

-is completely going south.-Yeah.

That's not the case.

There are great,ordinary Americans

doing extraordinary things.

We want those stories to be toldand we think it could be

catalytic as a... and emblematicof what we can do as Americans.

And not just point our finger atWashington, wait on Washington,

when, in fact, great peopleare doing things that

are just unbelievableand some of them are here today.

As a, as a, as the CEOof-of Starbucks,

it's funny you-you talk aboutcorporations doing their bit.

You talk about ordinarycitizens, uh, doing their bit.

What's interesting is that youfound a way to merge the two.

I-I think we actuallyhave a clip of, uh,

one of the fascinating stories.

-Let's-let's, uh, let's havea look. -Thank you.

SCHULTZ: For a generation,

good people working in food banks

have thrown away food.

Maria was the first person I met

that went about actually solving the problem

of that internal food waste

within the hunger-fighting movement.

MARIA: We're now working with more

than 800 individual organizations in 45 states.

We're helping move thousands of pounds of food a month,

both from retailers and in between food pantries.

Food that otherwise would haveended up in the trash.

That's amazing.

That is absolutely amazing.

Maria, Maria's actually here.

Maria's actually herein the audience.

Thank you, Maria, for coming.

(cheering continues)

That is...

You know... you know, I...

and this, honestly, this is nota joke, not saying this...

that is one of the biggestthings that I have always

grappled with is food wastage,you know.

Like, I'll-I'll-I'll tell youa little story.

My, uh... growing upin my household, my mom...

you know, if we were watchingmovies together,

she would let me watchviolent movies.

She would even let some of thenudity slip if we were watching

a movie that had a bit of that,but the one thing

she'd always dois turn off the TV

when there was a food fightin the cafeteria.

-(laughs) -Like, my mom would,like, as soon as--

and all American movies,the high school movies,

they'd always... cafeteriaand my mom was, like, done.

And she'd be like, "No."

-(laughter) -And I was like,"What are you..."

She's like,"They can't waste food."

"They can't waste foodlike that."

I was like, "We just watchedRambo kill people."

She's like, "That's normal,but this..."


And-and-and oneout of six Americans

are food insecure,

and Maria is trying to solvethat problem.

It's-it's fantastic.Thank you.

I mean, congratulations to bothof you for teaming up on this.


(cheers and applause)


I've always been fascinatedby something.

In America, corporations,I guess, due to lobbying,

and-and all of the institutionsaround it,

it seems like corporationshave a lot more power

than they do in other places,uh, you know, around the world.

You talk about using your powerto influence what's happening

on the ground, but is thatsomething that a company

like Starbucks looks to doat a higher level?

So you go, we don't only lookto Washington,

but is that something that youas a CEO go,

"I have to actually try and getthese people

to change the world"?

I think there is a growingresponsibility for businesses

and business leadersto recognize

that we need to do more.

We need to take careof our people,

we need to serveour communities.

I mentioned to you earlier

that we just came backfrom Johannesburg.


We opened in South Africa.

And I was sitting with a younggroup of South Africans,

many of whom have never hada job before.

And I kept hearing a word.

I know you're gonna know thisimmediately.

And I didn't knowwhat the word meant.

I heard it over and over,and finally I said,

"What does that mean?"

And they told me.


Ubuntu. Yes.

And-and that word that-thatNelson Mandela used,

about "I am because of you."


So I think that the countryand the world

is in dire need of humanity.

Dire need of civilityand respect.

And ubuntu embodies that.

It really, it really does.

Um, not only is it about ubuntu, it's about stepping up.

It's about saying something.

You've done what most don't,I guess.

You came out and you, uh,endorsed Hillary Clinton,

which is a, uh, a strange move.

-I mean...-You think so?

No, no, no, I mean...

I mean as a, as a personwho's in corporate...

A lot of people will go,"Hey, I stay out of it.

"I'll see what...I'm just a coffee guy.

"I don't get involved,I don't get...

"You wanted black,you wanted white.

"It's up to you, man.

-It's up to you."-(laughing)

You could easily stay out of it,but-but you stepped in.

You said something publicly;why?

Because this is probably

the most important electionof my lifetime,

and she-- I believe--the most qualified candidate

to be the Presidentof the United States.

(cheering and applause)

As simple as that.

Thank you so much for beinghere, sir.

Thank you for everythingthat you're doing.

Thank you.

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