Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Thursday that he would not be running for president, despite getting pressure from friends and colleagues.
Speculation around Schultz making a 2016 bid was short lived, but reached its high point when Maureen Dowd, a New York Times columnist, reported that Schultz was entertaining the pressure to challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray,” Schultz wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “I’m not done serving at Starbucks. Although we have built an iconic brand while providing even part-time employees with access to health care, free college education and stock options, there is more we can do as a public company to demonstrate responsible leadership.”
Although he says he won’t be a candidate, Schultz has a host of opinions on the kinds of people the United States should elect.
In the same New York Times piece, Schultz said he saw “a field of presidential aspirants unable to rise above petty politics.”
“I know candidates want to play to the party faithful during the primary season, but the challenges facing us today are too dire for another status-quo election,” he wrote. “We cannot afford more false promises, slogans, theatrics and fool’s gold.”
Schultz running for president was not an absurd proposition to many Democrats, especially considering the CEO’s interest in leadership and politics. He has published a series of books on business, leadership, and recently, veterans.
Business leaders, too, are not uncommon in presidential races. On the 2016 Republican side, for example, Donald Trump, the current front-runner, and Carly Fiorina, are both business people now making White House bids.