Howard Schultz, the outspoken CEO of global coffee chain Starbucks, calmly but firmly defended his company’s support of same-sex marriage last week at a shareholder meeting.
In response to a challenge from a shareholder that the company’s support of same-sex marriage was hurting the company’s stock price, Schultz explained that it’s not about the bottom line but about “respecting diversity,” according to KPLU-FM, a local affiliate of NPR.
Last year, the Seattle-based company openly supported Washington state’s referendum that legalized same-sex marriage. As a result, the National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott of the coffee giant. During the company’s annual meeting in Seattle last week, shareholder Tom Strobhar spoke up, suggesting that the boycott was affecting the company’s stock value: “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings — shall we say politely — were a little disappointing,” he said.
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