In 1987, Schultz returned to Starbucks to buy the coffee shop with the help of a few investors. He also took over as CEO. At that point, there were 17 store locations.
Schultz navigated the company through tremendous growth while remaining socially conscious. In 1988, Schultz made a commitment to offer health insurance to eligible full- and part-time workers, including all domestic partners of employees. In 1991, Starbucks started offering "Bean Stock," or company stock, making employees partners in the company.
Of course, he's weathered controversy too. In 2015, Schultz instituted a plan to have baristas write "Race Together" on cups Starbucks coffee cups. "The initiative instead incited derision and outright hostility toward employees and executives. Mr. Schultz ended the initiative within days, saying that he had not expected "universal praise," according to The New York Times.
And in April, when a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police on two black men who were waiting to start a business meeting and use the bathroom but had not bought anything, Starbucks was widely criticized. As a result, Schultz later closed all of the U.S. Starbucks store locations for racial bias training. "We had a moral obligation as a company to discuss this," Schultz told CBS' "60 Minutes."
Today, there are almost Starbucks locations in 77 countries and more than 350,000 people work at the coffee company.