Graham is caffeinated and composed during his two days with billionaire businessman Howard Schultz. During a long-form interview in Seattle, Schultz reflects on a series of life-changing events, including haunting memories of his war-stricken father, appreciation for Bill Gates Sr.’s intimidation tactic and regret during his time as the Seattle SuperSonics owner. Plus, Schultz candidly reveals vitriol he faced from politicians while vetting a presidential campaign and while testifying before Congress earlier this year.
Later, we meet up with the former Starbucks CEO in Milan, Italy to see first-hand the origins of his billion-dollar idea and savor the triumph of a capstone product launch, after four decades crafting the world’s largest coffee empire.
Howard Schultz: A Yankees die-hard trapped in a Red Sox box
American businessman, author and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz looks back on the start of his love for the New York Yankees, the team that bonded him and his father despite their rocky relationship. Howard impressively shares his ability to name the entire 1961 Yankees starting lineup, even including positions and numbers. He also provides wisdom on why it’s a bad idea to cheer for the Yankees while in the Red Sox owners box – a mistake he will never make again.
Howard Schultz: I should not have owned the SuperSonics
Businessman and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz describes how an undiagnosed broken neck effectively ended his college football career at Northern Michigan University. He shares that despite not being good enough to compete with quarterback Steve Mariucci, the pair became lifelong friends along with current Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo. He also delves into his decision to buy former NBA team the Seattle Supersonics – a decision he wishes he never made, but one that taught him a lot.
Howard Schultz: “Holy s**t” moment with Bill Gates Sr. paved my future
Businessman, author and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recalls the meeting with Bill Gates Sr. that changed both the trajectory of his life and Starbucks Coffee Company. Howard refuses to name the investor that attempted to steal Jerry Baldwin’s offer from him. He also illustrates the scene of Bill coaxing the investor out of purchasing the company and subsequently deeming Starbuck’s as Howard’s own.
Howard Schultz: Called out by father-in-law to go make money
Entrepreneur and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz shares the lessons he’s learned from maintaining a 40-year marriage with his wife, Sheri. He reflects on a tough, but eye-opening conversation with his father-in-law about moving on from his dream of owning a coffee company and finding a real way to make money before Starbucks took off. Plus, he comments on the benefits of therapy and talks about the ways he has turned his weaknesses into strengths.
Howard Schultz: Afraid of my war-stricken father
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz describes his family life growing up in the projects in New York City, sharing the challenge of being proud of his background, but saddened by some of his memories. He also notes that his experience being raised in an impoverished area is what gave him the work ethic to pursue ownership of Starbucks. Howard even looks back on the memory of his mother taking him to see a speech by President John F. Kennedy, a figure he believes gave her hope for Howard’s eventual success.
Howard Schultz on presidential bid: Unprepared for attacks, venom
Author, entrepreneur and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz briefs his short 2020 presidential campaign, where he says he considered the run due to both major parties being overcome with extremism. Howard explains that although the United States wasn’t ready for an independent candidate like himself, he would have been a good candidate because of his traveling experience that has allowed him to meet diverse groups of people. While the experience was both humbling and shocking, Howard reveals why he doesn’t regret his efforts.
“Pressure player” Howard Schultz on saving Starbucks
Businessman Howard Schultz reflects on the highs and lows of his time being CEO of Starbucks. He shares the experience of helping the company through the 2008 recession and COVID-19 pandemic, and how he kept himself motivated during hard times. Plus, he provides assurance that he will not return to Starbucks, instead opting to focus on a new stage of life.
Howard Schultz on family and distributing his Starbucks fortune
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz looks back on his family’s decision to keep their children from working for Starbucks, emphasizing the importance of them finding their own individual paths in life and avoiding the pressure of living up to his legacy. He also discloses the current plans for The Schultz Family Foundation and praises friend and mentor, Darren Walker, for aiding him and his wife throughout their time operating the foundation.
Starbucks’ Howard Schultz: Sparring Bernie Sanders on Capitol Hill
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recollects testifying on Capitol Hill and the frustration of being targeted by left-leaning senators like Bernie Sanders, given the company’s longtime progressive positions. Howard says he respects Sanders’ ideas, but notes they differ in method. Plus, Schultz expresses disappointment in how some members of committee – including one of his home state senators – treated him during the hearing.
Howard Schultz on China boom amidst fragile politics
Businessman Howard Schultz narrates the success of Starbucks in China as an American, company-owned brand, sharing that Starbucks opens a new location every day in China. Howard revisits a speech he gave at Peking University, pointing to his hope for improved relations between the two countries. Finally, he breaks down Starbuck’s appeal in China and credits Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong as one of the most valuable people in the company for her ability to create brand success despite hostility between the nations.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz looks to the post-Starbucks era of his life, describing his aspirations to continue entrepreneurship with a new concept also involving food. He addresses the future of his foundation, naming his overall goal of making a significant difference in the lives of others. Plus, he shares a touching example of the foundation’s impact, detailing the story of his wife, Sheri, comforting a woman after a job fair held by The Schultz Family Foundation.
Howard Schultz: I was 100% wrong about the frappuccino
We’re with Howard Schultz at The Schultz Family Foundation office, where he shows off some memorabilia including his massive vinyl collection and a Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. We also head to Starbuck’s Center to learn more about the history of the company and the evolution of the Starbucks logo. Plus, Howard shares more on the original Pike Place Starbucks and explains why he was completely wrong about the frappuccino.
We’re in Milan, Italy with businessman and former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. Howard takes us through the ways Milan transformed his life after his first visit in 1983, where a doppio macchiato sparked an appreciation for the ritual of ordering a coffee. He offers his thoughts on the initial rejection of his idea for Starbucks to sell coffee in-store (by 242 investors to be exact), and the risk of buying three of his own retail locations that grew into 37,000 stores in 84 countries.
Howard Schultz: Willy Wonka and the Starbucks roastery
We’re at Cordusio Square in Milan, Italy where Howard Schultz takes us through a tour of the Starbucks Roastery. Howard says that he opened a spot in Italy despite predictions that it would fail and points to the importance of the Italian market, where he drew inspiration for Starbucks from visiting Milan in the 1980s. He also shows the intricacies of the roastery, influenced by none other than Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.
We’re in Milan, Italy with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he takes us through the thought process behind the creation of the new Oleato beverage. He says the idea was sparked by a Sicily trip with a friend whose morning ritual was quite different from his — taking a tablespoon of olive oil in the morning rather than drinking a coffee. We also join him at the Oleato release event and talk with a few of Howard’s acquaintances who compliment his creativity and philanthropy, but also contend that these qualities could make true retirement hard for Schultz to achieve.
Milan to Seattle: Getting caffeinated with Howard Schultz | Behind the Scenes
A behind-the-scenes look at our two days with billionaire businessman, Howard Schultz. We started off in Milan, Italy, at Starbucks’ Oleato launch party, which doubled as a last hurrah for the long-time head of the $100 billion company. Then, we head to Seattle to both the Schultz Family Foundation and to Starbucks HQ. Graham and the crew talk through an unexpected curveball and Carlos vibes with a talented violinist.