The outgoing Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, struck a conciliatory tone over Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election in an interview Friday morning.
Schultz was a vocal supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the campaign and sent a letter to employees the day after the election in which he said he was “stunned” by Trump’s victory. On Thursday he announced he was stepping down as CEO of Starbucks, transitioning to be the company’s executive chairman.
“I don’t think on any level that Starbucks or the brand is at odds with Trump or his supporters,” Schultz said on CNBC on Friday morning. “One of the values we feel very strongly as a company is to demonstrate a level of social impact to the community that we serve.”
Because of Schultz’s support of Clinton, there have been numerous protests against Starbucks including customers asking for Trump’s name to be written on their cups.
“We have been concerned with a number of social issues that have not been addressed by Republicans in the past, but we hope that the new administration will address them,” Schultz told CNBC.
Throughout the line of questioning, Schultz expressed optimism for the new administration, saying, “We all want the president-elect to do well.”
Additionally, Schultz was asked about the recent rally in stocks since the election of Trump, believed to be from the market pricing in possible tax cuts for corporations and fiscal stimulus from the administration.
“I need to separate the stock of Starbucks from the Trump administration and the rest of the stock market,” Schultz said, contending that the unique value of Starbucks had driven the company’s postelection surge.
Finally, Schultz was asked by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin whether he was considering a run for office, as some have speculated, after his change in roles.
“I am all in at Starbucks, and that is my focus at this time,” Schultz said.