When Howard Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton for president back in September, he told CNN, "I think it's obvious Hillary Clinton needs to be the next president." Upon seeing the final election results, the Starbucks CEO--like many Americans across the political spectrum--was shocked.
But in a letter on Wednesday to employees (or "partners," as the company calls them), Schultz expressed his acceptance of President-elect Donald Trump and adopted the optimistic view necessary for the leader of a public company with more than 170,000 U.S. employees. Starbucks's stock is down 9 percent for the year, and Schultz is likely hoping that any customer backlash due to his vocal opposition of Trump will dissipate as Election Day grows more distant. Here's the full text of his note to employees:
Last night, like so many of you, I watched the election returns with family and friends. And like so many of our fellow Americans--both Democrats and Republicans--I am stunned.
We cannot know what the precise impact will be on our country and the rest of the world. I am hopeful that we will overcome the vitriol and division of this unprecedented election season.
As Americans, we must honor the democratic process. We have a president-elect in Donald Trump, and it is our responsibility as citizens to give him the opportunity to govern well and bring our country together.
Whether you are pleased or disappointed by the outcome, we each still have a choice. Today and every day, we have a choice in how we treat one another in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and of course in our stores.
We can choose to answer the challenges of the day with kindness and compassion. We can choose to listen, to understand, and to act with respect. We can choose to live by the values that reside in each of us, and honor our commitment to nurture the human spirit with love, and offer everyone in our stores and communities a place of inclusion and optimism.
Today, I trust you, and I trust all that is good in our country. Let's take care of each other and the people in our lives. I believe we will each find the best version of ourselves to help our country move on in the direction we all deserve. Together is where our collective power lies, as partners, and as Americans.
I am so very proud to be your partner.