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Starbucks CEO Schultz weighs in on employment: 'We can't wait for Washington'

Starbucks CEO on employment: 'We can't wait for Washington'

Outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that he and his successor will continue to push the coffee chain's "social impact agenda" regardless of gridlock in Washington.

Schultz and Starbucks president, COO, and incoming CEO Kevin Johnson spoke to "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Wednesday, following Starbucks' announcement that it plans to create 240,000 jobs by 2021.

"We must do more for our people that we serve, the communities, and we have a bigger responsibility," Schultz said. "We can't wait for Washington."

Schultz touted the company's employee benefits, such as health insurance, stock options, and free four-year college tuition as examples of how the "rules of engagement" for public companies are expanding.

Watch the full segment here:

Starbucks CEO Schultz weighs in on employment: 'We can't wait for Washington'

"All these things, I think, are part and parcel with building the kind of company that has a conscience," Schultz said. "Our success as a company, the $80 billion of market value, all of that is steeped in the humanity of Starbucks, of balancing profit with a social impact agenda."

Schultz added that Washington's logjam could mean more opportunities for his brand.

"I could not be more optimistic, more excited, and more bullish about the opportunities that we have at a time in America where there is great uncertainty politically, where there's a seismic change in consumer behavior," he told Cramer.

Addressing Starbucks' recent hiccups with its mobile ordering platform and the stock's downtrend, Schultz said he was confident that the company would bounce back.

"On balance the stock is undervalued, and we will demonstrate both in the short and the long term that we are building a great, endearing company," Schultz said.

Schultz added that the brand is continuously being recognized for being connected to and trusted by its customers, including being named the country's third-most admired brand by Fortune magazine.

"You don't get that kind of recognition because you have a mobile order and pay problem. You get that kind of recognition because you have a body of work that stands the test of time, and we are just getting started," the CEO said.

Johnson, Schultz's successor, said he was comforted by the fact that Schultz will stay on as executive chairman of the coffeehouse when Johnson becomes CEO on April 3.

"I think anyone stepping in this role would acknowledge that they have Venti shoes to fill," Johnson joked. "[It] gives me some comfort that not only do we have the opportunity, but we've got the leadership and a world-class leadership team to take us into the future."

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