Howard Schultz (1952- ) is the businessman responsible for leading Starbucks Coffee's transformation from a small Seattle shop selling raw coffee beans into a global café behemoth. In 2006, Forbes magazine listed Schultz as the 354th richest American, with a net worth of more than $1 billion.
In 1984, Schultz, inspired by the espresso bars he had encountered on a trip to Italy, first experimented with selling ready-made espresso drinks inside the Seattle coffee merchant's shop. After 1987, when Schultz acquired full control of Starbucks, the company began aggressively spreading the retail coffee shop concept around the globe. There are now more than 13,000 Starbucks stores worldwide.