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Starbucks has announced that Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman and a member of the board of directors at the company and will be honoured with the title of chairman emeritus.

During his four decades as CEO and chairman, Mr Schultz grew Starbucks from 11 stores to more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries.

Under his leadership, Starbucks has delivered a 21,000 per cent gain in the value of its stock price.

Among his many accolades, Mr Schultz has been named as one of The World’s Most Influential People by Time magazine as well as Business Person of the Year by Fortune.

This year, Starbucks was named the fifth most admired company in the world by Fortune, marking the 16th year in a row that the company has appeared on the global list.

Starbucks was also named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the 12th consecutive year.

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