Howard Schultz, Starbucks' (SBUX - Get Report) executive chairman, said he decided to ditch his position as CEO when he realized he was getting too old.

"The scale of the company, the complexity of the business" requires leadership from a younger generation, Schultz, 63, said on Wednesday at a conference held at The Economic Club of New York.

Schultz was the CEO of Starbucks from 1987 to 2000 and again from 2008 until his departure, in April this year. He was replaced by Kevin Johnson, 56, the company's former president and COO.

At the event, Schultz described Johnson as "tech savvy."

Wednesday's conference was moderated by former Macy's (M - Get Report) CEO Terry Lundgren, who was succeeded by Jeff Jennette, also in April.

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Editor's Pick: Originally published May 24.