"Nice guy" CEO Howard Schultz is at it again.
The man who thought racism could be solved with messages on disposable coffee cups, is urging Starbucks baristas to be sensitive towards customers in the aftermath of Monday's stock market chaos. In a bizarre Monday memo titled "Message from Howard: Leading Through Turbulent Times," eccentric billionaire CEO Howard Schultz wrote to Starbuck's 190,000 employees asking baristas to be extra nice to customers, according to the Washington Post. Schultz writes:
Today's financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers' attitudes and behavior. Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern. Please recognize this and — as you always have — remember that our success is not an entitlement, but something we need to earn, every day. Let's be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations.
Schultz — who's socially-minded "Race Together" campaign was a widely criticized, flop — has built up a "good-guy persona." Last fall, he announced plans to offer free college tuition to employees. "The country is having serious problems and people are being left behind," he told Jon Stewart. Schultz's charisma is causing some to buzz that he may run for president in the 2016 election. However, Schultz maintains that he won't be pursuing the Oval Office anytime soon. The memo must have worked. So far, no Frappuccino cookie straw outbursts have been reported.