In a letter to staff on Wednesday, Schultz said he was gobsmacked by the president-elect’s victory but said Americans had to respect the results.
“Like so many of our fellow Americans—both Democrats and Republicans—I am stunned,” Schultz wrote. “We cannot know what the precise impact will be on our country and the rest of the world. I am hopeful that we will overcome the vitriol and division of this unprecedented election season.”
Echoing the conciliatory tone of Trump’s opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama in speeches Wednesday afternoon, Schultz said people needed to give Trump a chance to govern well.
In September, the politically outspoken Schultz endorsed Clinton for president, saying he remained optimistic about the country’s future, despite what he saw as an effort by politicians and the media to paint the nation with “cloudiness and despair.” Earlier in the year, he had decried the Republican primaries as “a circus.”
In his staff letter Wednesday, Schultz called on his employees to be kind with other people and to to “find the best version of ourselves to help our country move on in the direction we all deserve.”
This election isn’t the first time Schultz waded into political territory at the risk of angering his clientele. A few years ago, he became a target of the gun lobby for asking gun owners to leave their weapons in their cars when coming to a Starbucks. And last year,Schultz quickly backed off an effort to have Starbucks baristas talk to customers about the state of race relations. The company itself has also been targeted for seemingly innocuous efforts like monochromatic coffee cups during the holiday season.
Below is Schultz’s letter in full: