Business Case Studies, HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study, Schultz’s Return to Starbucks,Fend off Rivals?

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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

Schultz’s Return to Starbucks: To Fend off Rivals?

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Shital Vakhariya, Menaka Rao

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: HRM0040B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In January 2008, eight years after quitting as the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz again took over Jim Donald as the CEO of Starbucks. It was a challenge for Schultz to turnaround an ailing company which he had earlier run as a profitable coffee retail giant. The main focus of Schultz was to improve Starbucks’ sales in the US by providing higher customers satisfaction, slowing down the pace of opening new outlets, streamlining management and accelerating expansion. It was felt though that reassuming the role of CEO may not solve the underlying problems at Starbucks.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the role of leadership in the success of a company
  • To understand the challenges in replacing a successful CEO
  • To understand the role of a CEO in the performance of a company.

Keywords : Howard Schultz, Jim Donald, openeing new outlets, competition, McDonalds, Leadership, succession planning, Coffee, instores experience, HRM Case Study, commoditization of brands, sliding sales, iconic brand, Michael Dell, Romance and theatre


  • The Rise and fall of Starbucks
  • Starbucks Restructuring Strategies
  • Howard Schultz's Return

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