Updated at 5: 18 p.m. ET
Howard Schultz announced Monday he will be stepping down as Starbucks’ chief executive chairman and member of the board of directors on June 26.
“I set out to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker and World War II veteran, never had a chance to work for,” Schultz wrote in a letter to Starbucks partners. “Together we’ve done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.”
Upon his retirement he’ll carry the title of chairman emeritus, but the announcement has fueled speculation that Schultz may be considering a move into politics.
Schultz became director of operations and marketing for Starbucks in 1982, and later led a group of investors in buying the company.