NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Starbucks (SBUX) initially dropped by 6% on 63-year-old CEO Howard Schultz' announcement that he would step down from his role, effective April 3, 2017. The coffee company's COO Kevin Johnson will replace him, while Schultz will remain executive chairman.
For investors following Starbucks closely, this should not come as a big surprise, nor should it be a big deal, TIAA Global Asset Management Managing Director Stephanie Link said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday afternoon. Since he is staying on as executive chairman, he will still be "very involved" in the "strategic development" of Starbucks.
"I wouldn't sell on this news," she advised.
Schultz planned originally to leave the company back in 2000 when he became chairman, but he returned in 2008 as CEO to help with faltering sales, noted CNBC's Andrew Sorkin. But Schultz told Sorkin that he "meddled a little too much" last time because he wasn't "emotionally ready" to let go of the company. While he doesn't want to "hover" this time around, his office will still be connected to Johnson's, Sorkin noted.
The fact he had to return to the company once to help turn it around and the fact that the stock initially dropped on this news shows Schultz is the "Steve Jobs of Starbucks," claimed CNBC's Bill Griffeth. "He can operationally manage this company, but he is not the symbol of Starbucks, is he?" Griffeth asked Sorkin.
"Very much so," Sorkin answered. Schultz will probably remain the face of the company, while Johnson will take over the operation, day-to-day management of it, including scaling the business, Sorkin explained.