Kevin Johnson is the President and CEO of Seattle’s World famous coffee empire Starbucks. He’s known for his innovative thinking and has earned respect for his empathetic and sharp leadership of the company. It’s one thing to realize that he’s a talented executive, but who is the man behind his professional image? We’ve done a little research and found ten interesting things about Kevin Johnson that we think are well worth sharing. Here are a few things about him that you probably didn’t’ know.
1. He went from CEO of Juniper to a lesser position with Starbucks
Kevin Johnson didn’t start out with Starbucks as the President and CEO. He’s actually been with the company for more than a decade. He left a fast paced high ranking executive CEO position with Juniper to become the Chief Operating Officer at Starbucks. He wasn’t at the top of the food chain when he first began, but when Howard Schultz, the former CEO decided that it was time to step down, the logical candidate was one of their own and none other than Kevin Johnson. He’s not an import, he’s the real deal and he’s been with the company long enough to know how it needs to be run.
2. He had a big health scare before joining Starbucks
The job that Johnson accepted with Starbucks was less intense than his CEO position at Juniper. It was because of a diagnosis of skin cancer that Kevin began to reassess his life. His previous position required him to do a lot of international traveling to sell networking technology. He was burning the candle at both ends and with a health threat looming over his head, he decided it was time to slow down. He thought about his own health, his family and other loved ones and how the job was taking its toll on all concerned. It was time for a change so he left Juniper to take care of his health but it would only be a few years before Howard Schultz would court him for the role of COO at Starbucks.
3. Kevin Johnson has a serious coffee habit
Johnson is in the ideal position with the perfect company. He’s a big-time coffee drinker and he likes his coffee strong and full of caffeine. That’s how he drinks his. His former boss, Schultz was known to be a real coffee junkie and Johnson is neck and neck with him.
4. He was educated in New Mexico
Although Johnson is currently a resident of the Pacific Northwest, he attended college in New Mexico. He attended a public research university in Las Cruces called New Mexico State University. he studied business administration and earned a degree in this field. It was a good choice because of look at him now.
5. He worked for IBM
Johnson’s first job after earning his bachelor’s degree was with IBM. He accepted a position as a software developer for the company and worked in their systems integration and consulting business. He was off to a good start with the computer tech company. It was a good place for him to begin his career, but he was destined for far greater things.
6. He worked for Microsoft as an executive
Still, in the computer technology industry, Kevin Johnson began a new career with Microsoft in 1992. He served in a variety of executive assignments. He was with the company for a total of 16 years. He started out as the group vice president of the company’s worldwide sales, marketing and services. This happened in 2003 and just two years later, he moved to the Windows and Online Services division in the role of president. He made significant progress in his career at Microsoft.
7. He is an appointee of the Bush Administration
Kevin Johnson was recognized by President George W. Bush for his leadership talents. Bush appointed Johnson to serve on the NSTAC (National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee). This made it apparent that his hard worth and business ethics had not gone unnoticed at the highest levels of the country.
8. Starbuck’s wasn’t sure about his at first
Johnson did have a rough start with Starbucks. The analysts and investors initially couldn’t tell if he was a good fit to lead the company in growth. He was criticized for the slump in food, beverage and merchandise sales in the United States. He turned this around and was praised for how fast Starbucks achieved growth in China.
9. He was on the national news in May of 2018
When the incident with two young black businessmen became a media event, it was Kevin Johnson who made the public apology owed the men. This was an embarrassing incident for the company when the two men were asked to leave, then led away in handcuffs. There was no reason for the staff member to treat them poorly as they were just waiting for a third man to arrive. They had fully intended to place an order, but they were not given the chance before they were confronted by a Starbuck’s worker.
10. Kevin lives in Bellevue, Washington
The CEO of Starbucks is at home in Bellevue, Washington. He and his wife are back at home in the Pacific Northwest after leaving the Juniper company in California.
He lives in Bellevue, Washington.