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Starbucks to eliminate COO role after John Culver steps down

Yahoo Finance anchors discuss Starbucks eliminating its COO role and the outlook for the coffee chain's leadership.

Video transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, shares of Starbucks in focus after chief operating officer John Culver announced he is departing the company after two decades with the coffee chain. This comes as part of a restructuring that will eliminate the COO role effective October 3. Culver will step down from his current role and become an executive advisor until he leaves the company at the end of the year, or in other words, he's just going to enjoy his time off.

Julie, you know, I'm starting to actually think that, one, this is Howard Schultz, I think, just tightening his wrath on the company, his grip on the company. But I'm starting to view it as if he may just become the permanent CEO at the end of the year. Now he's said at length on the earnings call last week that that search process is well underway.

But here, I think we had a viable candidate in Mary Dillon, long rumored to be the next CEO of Starbucks, according to people that I've talked with. Take that top job at Foot Locker, and Starbucks still hasn't teased anyone or gotten any or floated anyone out there as a potential name to take over Howard Schultz. So who's to say that he's just not going to keep this job? Howard loves power, and he loves his job.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, and there could be a situation here where even if they floated it to other people, if he's still going to be a big presence as a chairman, right, or if he's still going to be quite active, if you are an ambitious CEO, you might not want that Howard Schultz looming over your shoulder, as you're trying to manage the company. So that-- maybe that's a factor, too. Who knows?

BRIAN SOZZI: Big voice, big name, indeed.