Outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he won't return for a fourth stint

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  • Outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that he'll never return to the top job after the coffee giant announced Laxman Naramsimhan as its new incoming chief executive.
  • Schultz, 69, served as CEO from 1986 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2017.
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz on new CEO: I am never coming back again, we found the right person

Outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that he'll never return to the top job after the coffee giant announced a new succession plan last week.

“I'm never coming back again, because we found the right person,” he said on CNBC's “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.

Laxman Naramsimhan, who is currently the CEO of Lysol owner Reckitt, will join the coffee company in October and take the reins in April. Schultz will remain on Starbucks' board after Naramsimhan succeeds him and act as an advisor.

Schultz, 69, returned to Starbucks for his third stint as CEO in April after Kevin Johnson retired. Despite speculation from Wall Street and industry insiders, Schultz held firm to his promise that his current stretch would just be temporary.

When Johnson announced his retirement, Schultz said he previously had no plans to return to Starbucks. He served as CEO from 1986 to 2000, growing the Seattle coffee chain into an industry giant, and again from 2008 to 2017. He also publicly weighed a potential run for president ahead of the 2020 elections.

While Naramsimhan hasn't officially joined Starbucks yet, Schultz told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin that he's gotten to know his successor “very well” over the last few months. Before leading a turnaround at Reckitt, Naramsimhan held different roles at PepsiCo and consulting firm McKinsey.

Naramsimhan's appointment received a muted reaction from Wall Street. Schultz's prior departure announcement in late 2016 resulted in a double-digit decline for the stock price.

Starbucks will hold an investor day in Seattle on Tuesday, when the company is expected to unveil more details about its reinvention plan crafted by Schultz.

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