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|Subject: Starbucks annual meeting||Date: 3/23/2013 9:30 PM|
|Author: Goofyhoofy||Number: 419686 of 452808|
No, I'm not posting this in the wrong forum.
Howard Schultz to Anti-Gay-Marriage Starbucks Shareholder: 'You Can Sell Your Shares'
At Starbucks’ annual meeting in Seattle on Wednesday a shareholder complained to the chief executive, Howard Schultz, that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage. Last year Starbucks announced its support for Washington’s state’s referendum backing gay marriage, and in response the National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott of the coffee chain.
“In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing,” said Tom Strobhar, identified at the founder of the anti-gay marriage Corporate Morality Action Center.
Was Schultz taken aback? Not in the least. He responded, “Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.”
At that point the audience interrupted in cheers and applause. Then Schultz concluded, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.” More cheers.
Nice to see that some people still stand up for what's right. Even better to see that other shareholders agree, and strongly!
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