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Starbucks looking for external candidates to take on CEO role

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss reports that Starbucks is considering candidates for its CEO role.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Starbucks is looking for a fresh face to lead the company. In an interview with "The Wall Street Journal," interim CEO, of course, former and now interim CEO, Howard Schultz, said the company is looking mainly at external candidates to fill that position more permanently. And Mr. Sozzi, you've got to take on this today. What do you think?

BRIAN SOZZI: No doubt about it. And look, this comes against the backdrop, guys, of, I think, Wall Street wanting to know or get more clarity in the search process for Starbucks. Hence, you're seeing Howard Schultz give his first interview since coming back on April 4th officially as the CEO of Starbucks, trying to just, I think, alleviate any concerns that he might stick around until 2024 or 2025, as he did in the past. So he's telling the "Journal" that he will stick around to the first quarter of 2023. And they are actively looking for candidates. And importantly, he mentioned that they have met with some candidates.

Now, look, this has, I don't think, been the comeback that Schultz has wanted, at least since he came back on April 4th. He's had a number of verbal gaffes in these meetings with employees. And then, secondarily, look at the stock prices. It's very un-Howard Schultz-like. Since he did came back officially on April 4th, Starbucks shares down about 14%. Year to date, Starbucks stock down about 32%.

So here's my take. And I listed some couple key bullet points here on what I think one would be looking for in the next CEO of Starbucks. First and foremost, the next CEO of Starbucks should not be billionaire Howard Schultz, should not be billionaire Howard Schultz. I know Howard loves this position very much. I'm sure he would like to retain this position for the next 35 years.

But it's time to pass the baton. And to that end, it would be good to see a diverse candidate inside of Starbucks. Of course, Howard Schultz, he is an older white male. The CEO that replaced him-- older white male. It would be good to get a diverse candidate here with more just real world thinking, on the ground thinking, besides these past two CEOs leading the company.

Also, restaurant experience is important. Kevin Johnson had a strong technology experience. In a perfect world, you get a marriage of those two in the next leadership-- in the next leader of target, tech and restaurant experience.

Someone with a compelling personal story. And I look-- I use Walmart CEO Doug McMillon as a good example here. He started working in the stock room at Walmart. And now he's leading the company. It would be great to find that person who started working at Starbucks in the early days in the stores, and they are now taking over at a Starbucks. Whether that person exists is unclear, but that's very important because Starbucks is up against a lot of employee concerns, union effort fights. It'd be good if they had that person that can better identify with employees.

And last but not least, hopefully, they find somebody under the age of 60. You're going to need a leader here that can lead Starbucks for the next five 10, 15 years.

BRAD SMITH: Every single bullet point, you just named the COO who left, Roz Brewer--

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, yeah.

BRAD SMITH: --who left Starbucks--

BRIAN SOZZI: Which is insane.

BRAD SMITH: --and would have been a great transition into the CEO role.

BRIAN SOZZI: Roz Brewer is amazing. This should be her job. She's already starting to do tremendous things--

BRAD SMITH: Absolutely.

BRIAN SOZZI: --over at Walgreens. This should be her job. Unclear, of course, if she interviewed for it, unclear if she wanted to have this job. But she was doing good things at Starbucks. She deserved this position. Theoretically, she should be the next CEO of Starbucks.

BRAD SMITH: What about Indra? Indra Nooyi?

BRIAN SOZZI: She's on the board at Amazon.


BRIAN SOZZI: I don't think Indra wants to get back into the CEO game. I think she enjoys being out there, promoting her book. She's enjoying this next era of her own career. But still, this should be Roz's job. Roz is the bomb. She's great.