In the interest of full disclosure I’m posting the email response I received from Starbucks Corporate. This was their response to the text of my Open Letter which I emailed to them, as well as having posted here. Cheers, Mike
Thank you for contacting Starbucks.
At Starbucks, we deeply respect the views of our customers and partners (employees) and recognize that there is genuine passion surrounding this topic. Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we will make decisions that are consistent with our values and heritage but may be inconsistent with the views of some of our customers.
We welcome everyone in our stores regardless of their belief on this topic. As Howard said at our annual meeting, we embrace diversity of all kinds. He did not say anything about selling shares if investors do not support marriage equality. Howard simply stated that investors could sell their shares if they were unhappy with the company’s 38% return last year.
From our very earliest days, Starbucks has strived to create a company culture that puts our people first and treats everyone equitably. Our company has a lengthy history of leading on and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion, and we are proud to be one of several leading Northwest employers that support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality. We made this decision through the lens of humanity and our commitment to embracing diversity.
We have 200,000 people that work for Starbucks around the world and the equity of our brand has been defined by the relationship we have with our partners and the relationship they have with our customers. Put simply, the success we’ve enjoyed and the resulting shareholder value created are directly linked to the pride our partners have for the company they work for and their connection with the communities we serve.
Thanks again for sharing your concerns – we take them seriously – and I hope that my explanation above has helped clarify what Howard said last week.
Thanks again for writing us. If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.