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The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has a new book coming out, entitled "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul,” slated to be available on March 29.

According to the story, the book is said to look at the upheaval that Starbucks has been going through in recent years, Starbucks “including closing hundreds of stores and laying off thousands of workers.” The word “onward,” the Times notes, “is the closing Schultz has used for letters to employees for years, including in his well-publicized 2007 memo to top executives warning about the ‘commoditization of the Starbucks experience’.”
KC's View:
I just hope that the book is reasonably objective look at the role that Schultz played in that commoditization; he likes to imply that he was the only guy with his finger in the dike, but I think it is fair to say that even when Schultz was not the CEO, he was the one who saw Starbucks in grandiose terms, not as a coffee company, but as a “lifestyle” company. It is Schultz today who is driving the acrimonious divorce from Kraft, which has been distributing its products to grocery stores, because he now sees Starbucks as being a CPG company. And it almost certainly is Schultz who took the word “coffee” out of the company’s logo.

Schultz is a remarkable executive, no question. And it is okay when people treat you like the messiah. It is, however, a little dangerous when you start believing that you are the messiah. It’ll be interesting to see whether “Onward” is a serious and honest business book, or Schultz’s version of the New Testament.