Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz won’t back down from the company’s support for gay marriage.
At the annual shareholder’s meeting — held last Thursday in Seattle — a shareholder asked Schultz pointedly about the company’s support for gay marriage, reports The Puget Sound Business Journal.
At question was whether it was prudent for the company to risk the return for its investors by advocating for gay marriage. The questioner also expressed disappointment with the company’s most recent results and claimed they were partly driven by the boycott Starbucks faced about the gay marriage issue.
Schultz replied that, “Not every decision is an economic decision. The lens we use to make decisions is the lens of our people. We want to embrace diversity.” After delivering this statement, Schultz was supported by a round of applause from the audience.
Schultz later said that if the shareholder remained unhappy with the 38% annual return on value the company provided, “You can sell your shares of Starbucks. It’s a free country.”