Published On: Sat, Mar 23rd, 2013

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz attacks shareholder over gay marriage stance, says you don’t like it then sell your shares

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is serious about the company’s support of same-sex marriage and a heated exchange at the coffee giant’s annual meeting this week cemented the support.

Will the protests effect Starbucks? The shareholders and CEO may be battling over the issue. photo Mason Wendell

Will the protests effect Starbucks? The shareholders and CEO may be battling over the issue. photo Mason Wendell

Shareholder Tom Strobhar confronted the exec citing the company’s financial returns.

“In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” said Strobhar.

The company’s vocal stance on gay marriage instigated a National Organization for Marriage organized boycott of Starbucks.

“It is not an economic decision,” Schultz responded. ” The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.”

The crowd cheered and applauded.

“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,” said Schultz.

Strobhar is the founder of The Corporate Morality Action Center “to address the great ethical issues of our day, especially as they apply to one of the most influential groups in our culture, corporations. Issues like abortion, the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman, and pornography are all affected by the actions of corporations and their owners, the shareholders.” – website

He told OneNewsNow: “Oh, I’m very much concerned. Boycotts — not everyone’s going to boycott them, but if two, three, four, [or] five percent of the people boycott, that could result in lost earnings of ten to 20 percent.”

At last year’s Starbucks shareholders meeting, Strobhar asked Schultz to stop endorsing liberal issues because they were bad for business.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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