Howard Schultz Howard Schultz says he isn't running for president, but he sure acts like he is.
"I believe strongly in the promise of America," Schultz, Starbucks' chairman and former longtime CEO, said at a screening of Starbucks' "Upstanders" series on Monday. "What's coming out of Washington in many ways — the lack of leadership, the lack of authenticity, lack of civility — is not the narrative or the story of America."
An attendee sitting in the darkened audience whispered, "It sounds like he's running for president."
Schultz isn't campaigning — on Monday, he told Reuters that he had no plans to run for office — but rumors of political aspirations have dogged the Starbucks leader for years.
According to people who have worked with Schultz, the entrepreneur has long fostered a deep interest in politics and a feeling of "responsibility" to effect change in the US. One former employee who worked with Schultz closely for almost a decade told Business Insider she estimated that chances were 50-50 on whether he would run or not.