The company said Myron "Mike" Ullman would be the new chairman of the board, upon Schultz's retirement.
Schultz has helped Starbucks navigate one of its most tumultuous periods this spring as the company was in the headlines for the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia store, an incident Schultz described as deeply embarrassing. Together we've done that, and so much more, by balancing profitability and social conscience, compassion and rigor, and love and responsibility.
Starbucks said the company's stock rose more than 21,000% since its 1992 initial public offering.
Speaking to CNN about the closure, Schultz said "we realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores who may have a problem".
This year, Starbucks was named the fifth most admired company in the world by Fortune, marking the 16th year in a row that the company has appeared on the global list.
A sign advising that a Starbucks is closed, is posted in the window of a store on New York's West Side as a barista mops the floor, Tuesday, May 29, 2018.
Schultz, who oversaw the transformation of Starbucks into a global chain with more than 28,000 locations, had left the CEO job at the company a year ago to focus on innovation and social impact projects. And now Shultz is finally leaving this other leading position.
"There are no words to fully express our gratitude to Howard for the extraordinary company he has built", said ceo and member of the Board of Directors Kevin Johnson.
"Starbucks changed the way millions of people drink coffee, this is true, but we also changed people's lives in communities around the world for the better", Schultz said in his letter. "I hope I've made you proud to work at Starbucks, and proud to wear the cloth of the company-the green apron". It's our duty as leaders to constantly reimagine Starbucks. And Starbucks is fortunate to have him.