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New Starbucks CEO to Take Over in 2017

Starbucks announced that Kevin Johnson would take over as the coffee company's chief executive in 2017.
New Starbucks CEO to Take Over in 2017
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This is What’s Trending Today.

The coffee company Starbucks said its chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, plans to leave his position in April of 2017. He will reportedly work on a new Starbucks brand.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will leave his position in 2017 to work on a new Starbucks brand.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will leave his position in 2017 to work on a new Starbucks brand.

Schultz, 63, is credited with greatly expanding the company and its brand worldwide. He began working with Starbucks in 1982 as the operations and marketing director. At the time, Starbucks had just four coffee shops. All were in Seattle, Washington.

Today, the company has 24,000 stores in 70 countries.

Starbucks opened its first store outside of the U.S. in 1996 in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, Starbucks stores have opened in China, Dubai, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico and many other places.

Schultz was the company’s CEO from 1987 until 2000. He became the CEO again in 2008. Kevin Johnson will replace him. Johnson is currently the company’s chief operating officer and once worked with Microsoft.

Schultz said that after he steps down, he will work to make a special Starbucks brand bigger. That brand is called Starbucks Reserve. It serves high-quality drinks. The coffee served in its cafes can be two times more expensive than regular Starbucks coffee.

A Starbucks cafe in Beijing.
A Starbucks cafe in Beijing.

There are still very few Starbucks Reserve stores. But, Starbucks reportedly plans to open many more of these cafes around the world in the near future.

People reacted to the news of Schultz’s departure on social media. Some Twitter users had not heard of Starbucks Reserve stores before.

One person wrote: “high-end coffee? Isn’t that what Starbucks is? If paying $3.16 for an iced medium coffee isn’t high-end, I don’t know what is.”

Another person wrote: “I’ll not purchase one $12 coffee in my lifetime.”

Others on social media wondered if Schultz was considering running for president in 2020. He supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the recent U.S. elections.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

brand n. a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name

chain –n. a group of businesses (such as stores, restaurants, or hotels) that have the same name and basic appearance and sell the same products or services

high-end –adj. higher in price and of better quality than most others

credit –v. to give honor or recognition to (someone or something) for doing something or for making something happen