Howard Schultz Says Starbucks Is Seeking Fresh Blood in CEO Search

Starbucks trails only McDonald’s as the largest restaurant chain by market capitalization. WSJ’s Heather Haddon explains why mobile technology has become a business priority for Starbucks and garnered it a loyal customer base. Photo: Stanislav Kogiku/Zuma Press

SEATTLE—Starbucks is considering only external candidates for its next chief executive officer, as interim CEO Howard Schultz said the company needs to add new talent and skills to its senior leadership ranks.

Mr. Schultz—who said he isn’t a candidate to hold the position permanently—said Starbucks has recently talked to several promising CEO prospects, and that the company aims to identify a new chief executive by the fall. He said he plans to leave the coffee giant’s C-suite by the shareholder meeting in March.

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