Scott Hodge


Go Howard!

Feb 12, 2008


No more breakfast sandwiches. 

New WiFi plan.  (Including two hours of free usage every day…)

Shutting down 7,100 stores on February 26th to retrain 135,000 in-store employees and managers on how to create the perfect espresso shot. 

Slowing down US expansion.

Speeding up International expansion. 

Ladies and gentlemen…

Howard is back!

In case you don’t know, Starbucks Chairman, Howard Schultz, returned last month to the role of company CEO to oversee a turnaround after the company’s sales growth hit an all time low last quarter.

This is interesting for me to watch.

For one, I am a big fan of Howard Schultz and the Starbucks brand.  To be honest, I want to see the company do well.  And no, I am NOT a stockholder (unfortunately…).  The fact is, I have faith in Howard’s leadership.  He’s demonstrated that he knows how to create a successful brand, and I’m pretty certain he is going to bring the company back to where they need to be.

Secondly, I am intrigued by corporate change and turnaround.  If you know The Orchard’s story, you’ll understand why.  Realigning an organization with its mission and values after it has gotten off track is certainly NOT an easy task (imagine the challenge with an organization as large as Starbucks!). 

Changing an organization’s culture requires BIG CHANGE and a commitment to getting back to the basics.  And this is exactly what it seems like Howard is doing.

Rock on Howard.

And by the way, Howard, in case you’re reading this…  How about free refills on brewed coffee?  Please!?

11 Responses to “Go Howard!”

  1. Chris Baker says:

    Free refills on brewed coffee would be amazing. Even one free one (one for the road) would be amazing! Looks like some good changes are happening. Happy there switching to AT&T from what I read.

  2. Chilly says:

    man, lovin’ the 2 free hours of wifi… I’m an AT&T guy (a must with the iPhone), so I was shut out – now, I’ll be back online!!
    and yeah, I’m with you on the free refills – even one would be nice. Can’t just drink one mug of Italian Roast!

  3. Chris S. says:

    Scott, I am with you on the huge challenge of changing a culture but here is the thing… I believe that Howard has it way easier than you or I because he has the leverage of the paycheck and plenty of people wanting to get a job at Starbucks. In a church, when it comes to volunteers, if people don’t like or don’t want to change the just walk out and find another church.

  4. Chris Brown says:

    I have to admit, I did like the breakfast sandwich (The sandwich was my “hooray it’s friday” treat.)…and just so they don’t close the new store right across the street from me. Otherwise I love the changes.

  5. Tito says:

    What would you say is the major connection between starbucks and Jesus? Because every Christian has to have two tings in life, starbucks and Jesus…am I right? I love you.

  6. Big Chris says:

    Too bad Howie’s leadership and vision didn’t extend to his ownership of the Seattle Supersonics. He created a gigantic mess for fans in and of Seattle. An absolute train wreck of leadership, and a stab in the back to many loyal people.
    So if you are going to look at the good you should at least be aware of the bad.
    Big Chris

  7. Brad McDonald says:

    I wonder if he will pull out the automatic espresso machines?
    Also, the franchises at the stores and hotels need more training. I have been in more than one “conversation” about the number of espresso shots that belong in my americano.
    Grande Americano with room for walking

  8. Rich Barrett says:

    Scott- surprised to hear you’re not getting free refills on brewed coffee. The only time I get charged for a same-visit refill is when I’m at a Starbucks where the staff doesn’t know me.
    Spend enough time at the same Starbucks, have some meetings there, and sometimes even your first cup of coffee is free!

  9. emma says:

    this is exciting… i read howards book in the summer and it really impressed me… im slowly growing to like st arbucks!

  10. metromom says:

    I don’t think the FDA approves that much caffeine consumption- their brewed coffee is off the charts. One cup is plenty Scott.
    Your ADD will thank me.

  11. Brad Ruggles says:

    Wow…that’s big news. Somehow I missed that news story.
    I’ve read the book “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz so I love his philosophy. It will be interesting to watch this change in direction for Starbucks.
    Brad Ruggles

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