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Executive chairman of a major company just retired - and he might challenge Trump in 2020

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he would be retiring as executive officer of the company, and hinted that he might seek public office. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Howard Schultz announced Monday that he would retire as the executive chairman of Starbucks, and hinted that he might run for president and challenge President Trump in 2020.

Here's what he said

Schultz told the New York Times that he didn't want to fuel headline, but he admitted for the first time that he was considering seeking public office.

“I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines,” he said. “For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world.”

“One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back,” he added. “I’m not exactly sure what that means yet.”

But when asked directly if he was thinking about running for president, he did not rule out the possibility.

“I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service," he responded. "But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”

Schultz stepped down from his former position as CEO in April, but had stayed on as the company's executive chairman. As CEO he oversaw the coffee company's growth into a behemoth boasting of 28,000 stores in 77 countries.

A critic of Trump

Schultz has been a critic of Trump in the past, and this has fueled speculation from many that he might seek to challenge him in 2020 for the Oval Office.

In May he told employees that Trump was creating "chaos" that was hurting the U.S. economy. He added that there was "a tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety in America," and he wanted his coffee shops to be an "antidote."

Racial inequity

Schultz' most recent controversy came after police were called on two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks. After apologizing, he mandated all Starbucks shops close for one day for sensitivity training.

"We realize that four hours of training is not gonna solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores who may have a problem," he said, "but we have to start the conversation.”

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