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Starbucks’ Schultz Urges Fellow CEOs to Halt Campaign Giving

Howard Schultz, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks Corp., speaks during the company's annual meeting in Seattle on March 23, 2011. Starbucks Corp. Photographer: Kevin P. Casey/Bloomberg
Howard Schultz, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks Corp., speaks during the company's annual meeting in Seattle on March 23, 2011. Starbucks Corp. Photographer: Kevin P. Casey/Bloomberg

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz urged other CEOs to boycott donating to U.S. political campaigns to encourage leaders to solve the nation’s growing budget deficit.

“I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people,” Schultz wrote in an e-mail sent to business leaders that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Schultz, 58, joined Starbucks about three decades ago and later served as CEO until in 2000. He took the reins again in 2008 amid slumping sales growth after the company expanded too rapidly. The Starbucks leader has spoken on issues such as the high price of coffee, which he says is driven by market speculation.

Among the recipients of Schultz’s e-mail were NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer and Bob Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., who in turn e-mailed letters to companies listed on their respective exchanges.

Schultz encouraged fellow business leaders in the e-mail to “voice your perspective publicly” and said that “businesses need to do all they can to accelerate job creation.”

Corey duBrowa, a spokesman for Seattle-based Starbucks, said the e-mail was sent last night and dated Aug. 15.

Schultz donated to Senator Maria Cantwell, a Washington state Democrat, in March, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee-shop operator with about 10,900 U.S. stores.

The New York Times earlier reported on Schultz’s e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at korland@bloomberg.net

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