A CEO has many roles to play within an organization , but a top level CEO such as Schultz , has reach far beyond the boundaries of his own corporation.
“There arent many CEOs who would get such presidential calls, or who would meet a few weeks later at the presidential palace in Paris with Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss eurozone economic issues. Sarkozys wife, Carla Bruni, is a big Starbucks customer. But its been that kind of year for the 58-year-old Schultz — out in the realm of political and social activism, as well as inside the caffeinated corporate suite. His dynamic union of the public and the private has made Schultz a signal American CEO — all the more so when government seems so bereft of effective leadership. Thats why Schultz earns the No. 1 spot on Fortunes Businessperson of the Year list for 2011. His company, with 17,000 retail stores, in every state and 56 countries, is becoming a dominant player among global food empires. The ubiquitous brand has transcended mere coffee to become a lifestyle emblem. And Schultz has proved that it wasnt just Steve Jobs who could come home to a company to save it. “Its been quite a year,” Schultz told me, just before he officially announced the results of a memorable fiscal 2011 to Wall Street a couple of weeks ago.”