Q&A: Starbucks Can Smell Growth

In his second stint as CEO, Howard Schultz had to create a turnaround plan in the middle of a recession

Jeff Minton / Corbis

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

Two years ago, Starbucks was floundering. For the first time in its history, the company that made coffee part of our social scene saw U.S. same-store sales drop. Then the recession hit. Founder Howard Schultz, who had retired as CEO years earlier, took back the helm. His challenge: to rebuild Starbucks in the midst of a severe downturn.

Where do things stand now?
In any situation like this, there is no finish line. Having said that, we feel very positive about how we've transformed the company. We took out almost $600 million of cost. We closed underperforming stores. This has...

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