Tag Archives: CEO

Starbucks Follow-up

Remember a few weeks ago I posted an article about how Starbucks CEO shot his arrogant mouth off in protest to President Trump by pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years. Well, here’s the proof of what happens to CEO’s who make political statements thinking they are immune to the market.

I posted earlier what happened to Target during the first quarter after announcing that any one can use any bathroom they choose based what gender they identify with – Really? Well the”Invisible Hand” once again stepped in and their 4th quarter results were 4.3% below same quarter 2015. Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target spun the decrease this way, “Our fourth quarter results reflect the impact of rapidly-changing consumer behavior, which drove very strong digital growth but unexpected softness in our stores,” Yeah right. Your customers don’t enjoy having to use one of your multi-gender restrooms, ya think?

But then I digress, back to Starbucks.  One of my investor pubs reported, “Starbucks shares are trading lower, extending the week’s declines as investors continue to battle with the company’s efforts to fix through-put issues and capitalize on mobile order & pay demand. LOL. Now that is what most of us would call “spin.” What about the refugees you are hiring rove Americans, think that may have impacted your same store sales? The financial pub did find in their hearts to mention, “…….slowing sales momentum for Starbucks in the current fiscal second quarter as brand sentiment had seen some volatility following the company’s announcement to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years” Yep, the “Invisible Hand” again. Consumers rule, companies exit and prosper at the pleasure of us! Remember that folks. Oh, how I love to watch capitalism at work.

Starbucks Redux

I reckon we made somewhat of an impact on this cocky, snobbish, arrogant, politically correct CEO who believes he is so safe and good at his job as CEO that he can say anything he chooses to. Keep it up Schultz, you may go by the way of Woolworth’s. Let’s keep the pressure on them, we may just put them out of business. Oh, the power of money, and as Adam Smith called it, the “invisible hand.”

After President Donald Trump’s signed an executive order on immigration and refugees last month, Starbucks pledged they would hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years.

“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said at the time.

But now, their decision has apparently backfired.

From Yahoo Finance:

Starbucks’ brand has taken a beating since the company announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in the next five years in response to Donald Trump’s executive order intended to prevent refugees from entering the US.

The coffee giant’s consumer perception levels have fallen by two-thirds since late January, according to YouGov BrandIndex.

The perception tracker measures if respondents have “heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative.” In Starbucks’ case, perception is still overall positive, but significantly lower than it was prior to CEO Howard Schultz published a public letter outlining the company’s plans to give refugees jobs.

Image source: YouGov
Image source: YouGov

This isn’t the first time Starbucks has found controversy after announcing a company-wide initiative. In 2015, Schultz announced the “Race Together” initiative where barista’s would push customers to engage in dialogue about race relations.

However, that initiative also quickly backfired and they ended it.

And here is an excellent comment that was made on the article. There are lots of folks out there in the business world who could learn something from this comment.

This is what happens when CEO’s feel the need to infuse political correctness into their business models. Much like talented Hollywood actors and actresses who isolate much of their fan base when they abandon a proven formula for success (acting) by pushing political agendas, businesses can find themselves in the same boat. What out of touch CEO’s like Schultz don’t understand is the vast majority of his employees across the country are there to make coffee and collect a paycheck, not push his utopian politically correct agenda. What’s next? Installing a Zampolit (political officer) in every Starbucks to ensure all the baristas are comporting with the Kommissar’s agenda?

Interestingly, right after Schultz’ announcement to hire 10,000 refugees, Black Rifle Coffee Company announced they would hire 10,000 veterans. Starbucks may not actually meet their stated goal of hiring 10,000 refugees and BRCC may not actually meet their stated goal of hiring 10,000 veterans. What is important is the difference in priorities between the two companies with the messages they are sending. BRCC gets it. We need to take care of Americans first.