His fellow board members called his suggestion to fire CEO Myron Ullman “disruptive and counterproductive.” In comments to The Wall Street Journal, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz joined the critics, calling Ackman’s actions “despicable,” and claiming that he has “severely damaged the company.”
Here’s the full quote:
“Mike is working tirelessly to save this company, and it is despicable of Ackman to leak a letter asking for his removal,” said Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks Corp., on whose board Mr. Ullman sits. “The irony is that Ackman himself has every step of the way severely damaged this company.”
He doubled down when speaking to The Financial Times, calling Ackman a “destroyer of companies,” and his actions “disgusting.”
“As someone who runs a public company, I’m speaking out on behalf of people whose livelihoods can be destroyed by people like this,” Schultz adds.
Schultz previously called Ullman’s decision to return and help turn the company around “heroic.” Like Ullman, Schultz stepped down as CEO then came back when Starbucks was in serious trouble.
He was also no big fan of Ackman’s hand-picked CEO, Ron Johnson, who was ousted after just 16 months when the company’s stock plummeted, telling the FT that “Bill Ackman has blood on his hands for being the one who brought Ron Johnson in.”
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