This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Is Starbucks' Howard Schultz Setting Up a Succession Plan?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Starbucks (SBUX) shares were rising slightly in post-markets trading to $71.70, up 0.2%, after the Seattle-based company made some changes to its management team. CFO Troy Alstead will become its chief operating officer, a newly created position to oversee day-to-day operations of the company.

The move, along with two other promotions effective Feb. 3, comes as Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz looks to focus on more on "the convergence and integration of our retail and e-commerce, digital, card and mobile assets around the world," according to a statement. Schultz is taking on more "innovation," leaving less time in the way of daily company management.

Shares finished down 3.2% in Wednesday trading, closing at $71.56.

But was the late-Wednesday announcement a nod to what will eventually be the succession line up behind the coffee chain's beloved Schultz? It seemed clear that Schultz, who turned 60 this past July, was signaling something.

"Ever so quietly, Howard Schultz has signaled his intention to hand over the reins to three possible internal candidates within the next three to five years," says Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equity strategist of Belus Capital Advisors and RealMoney contributor.

Starbucks said in the release Schultz will work closely with others in the senior leadership team, including chief digital officer Adam Brotman and chief strategy officer Matt Ryan, to "expand his focus on innovation in coffee, tea and the Starbucks Experience as well as next generation retailing and payments initiatives in the areas of digital, mobile, card, loyalty and e-commerce to position Starbucks for its next wave of global growth."

"He will also continue to work closely with his senior leadership team to ensure continued disciplined growth and operational excellence around the world."

Last Thursday, Starbucks reported first-quarter earnings of 71 cents a share that beat consensus by 2 cents. Revenue rose 12% to $4.24 billion, however Wall Street was expecting more, looking for $4.29 billion.

Same-store sales in the U.S. also missed consensus expectations for the December-ending quarter, coming in at 5%, versus expectations of 6.4%. It was clear that even darling Starbucks felt some of the same troubles that many retailers felt during the holiday season.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,559.12 -4.18 -0.03%
S&P 500 1,933.45 +2.78 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,381.48 +11.7070 0.27%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs