Howard Schultz still doesn’t get it. Not even close.
We need some background here, just to get everyone up to speed. Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks, so I’m already ticked at him about the whole Peet’s thing. But that’s my issue, he has bigger sins. Like buying the Sonics then in 2006 — with Oklahoma City begging for an NBA team after the Hornets short stay — selling the Sonics to Oklahoma City based Clay Bennett and friends.
Who as quick as they could moved the team to Oklahoma City. Everyone saw that coming, except Schultz who said he was surprised. It was pretty much Captain Renault in Casablanca: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
Sonics fans have no love for Shultz. Go watch the brilliant Sonicsgate. It explains it all.
Now Shultz has a new book out — Onward — talking about his leadership and how he turned Starbucks around. You can see where Sonics fans have some issues: Where was this vaunted leadership when the Sonics needed you?
At a Costco Friday, Schultz had a book signing. A poorly attended book signing, by all accounts.
The a heckler — Scott Pattison — got his turn at the front of the line and told Schultz he betrayed the city of Seattle. Security quickly escorted him out of the building.
They then threw out anyone wearing Sonics gear. Including Adam Brown, the director of Sonicsgate.
So the whole thing looks bad for Schultz, a PR mess and a pretty poor example of leadership. Schultz had to know some protests were coming, right? He would if he’s not he’s living in a coffee-colored bubble where everybody loves him unconditionally. It was a poor over-reaction by the Costco staff and hired off-duty police, and just another sad chapter in what is too long a book.