Global coffee chain Starbucks Corp. will suspend its stock repurchasing program upon the return of Howard Schultz at its helm, according to a Reuters report.

  • Schultz told investors the suspension will take effect immediately, allowing the firm to spend more on its employees and stores. This comes as the firm faces supply chain constraints, the COVID-19 pandemic, tensions, and political unrest.
  • Schultz said he will also travel in the coming weeks for discussions with employees both in stores and manufacturing plants, and design sessions with employees. This comes as the firm faces rising unionization in the United States.
  • The company announced the return of Schultz as interim Chief Executive last month, upon the retirement of Kevin Johnson. He previously led the company to grow to 28,000 stores in 77 markets across the globe from 11 stores.

Schultz said his return will mark cooperation with workers to design the next Starbucks which seeks to have more interaction with workers. SBUX is down 3.72% premarket.