STORY: Starbucks says Howard Schultz will stay on as interim CEO until the end of March, while it looks for a permanent successor.
Schultz returned to lead the coffee chain for a third time earlier this year.
He took over from the retiring Kevin Johnson as the company deals with the increasing unionisation of its workforce.
Schultz has long said that the firm doesn't need unions as it works so closely with employees.
Starbucks is only considering external candidates for the top job.
That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which says Schultz cited a need to bring in fresh talent and skills.
The company on Monday (June 6) confirmed plans to identify a successor before the end of the year.
It said Schultz would remain on the board after he steps down as CEO.