Why Anyone Would Want Howard Schultz to Be President

When Howard Schultz spurred speculation of political intent when he announced that he was stepping down as Starbucks’ executive chairman and “think about … public service,” Barrons’s noted,

Many prominent executives believe “leadership in the public sector has devolved to people who are willing to go along with whatever will get them elected,” says Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit business group that focuses on public issues. And it isn’t just Trump who fails their test. “They see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as equally polarizing, driving from the other direction,” she says. “They see it as a vacuum of leadership generally.”

Trump got elected as someone who could bring business and negotiating skills to the federal government. But one skill isn’t on Trump’s resume: running a multinational public company subject to open scrutiny, with a wide range of constituencies. Schultz can tout those experiences and more.

The new wave of executive presidential hopefuls is driven in part by a desire to redeem business-school values by putting a CEO in the Oval Office who is practiced in consistency, practicality, consensus-driven leadership, and above all a clear-eyed understanding of problems.

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