Former Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) CEO Howard Schultz is ending his bid for U.S. president about nine months after declaring his intent to run, he announced in a letter posted to his website Friday. 

Schultz was running as an independent candidate, which made him the target of attacks from the left as political operatives feared that Schultz would split the Democrat vote and hand the presidency to Donald Trump again. 

"My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time," Schultz said. "I will spend this election cycle and the years ahead supporting bold and creative initiatives to transform our broken system and address the disparity of opportunity that plagues our nation."

Schultz joins Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as candidates who recently dropped out of the presidential race.