(Bloomberg) — In his first week back on the job at Starbucks Corp., Howard Schultz made a flurry of moves that hint at big changes in store layouts, employee relations and marketing — and indicate profit margins will be under pressure.
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The man credited with inventing Starbucks’s culture as a “third place” for people to spend time beyond their homes and workplaces isn’t taking his new role as interim chief executive officer lightly. He’s already frozen stock repurchases that were part of a $20 billion package, saying the money would be better spent on employees and cafe improvements. And he dismissed the company’s top lawyer while pledging to offer better benefits for workers to dissuade them from unionizing.
Shareholders greeted Schultz’s plans by selling off the stock, which has dropped every day this week for a 10% skid. It’s a sensitive time because Starbucks is already facing a barrage of expenses. In February, the chain said it was…
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