Howard Schultz is the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks. Schultz began his career at Starbucks as Director of Marketing in 1982. Shortly after joining the company, he took a trip to Italy where he was inspired by the integration of coffee cafes into the Italian culture. Upon his return, he convinced the Starbucks management to serve espresso in addition to the coffee and tea traditionally offered, and open a Starbucks retail shop. The first Starbucks cafe was successful, however the management team refused to expand the idea of Starbucks retail stores.
Seeing a potential growth opportunity left to spoil frustrated Schultz, and he left Starbucks to start his own retail shop. A few years later, he bought the Starbucks retail unit from the original management, and renamed his own shop under the Starbucks name. He started an aggressive expansion project across the whole United States, transforming Starbucks into what it is today.