Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decides against running for president

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By Adam Edelman  with NBC News Politics
Image: Howard Schultz, chairman emeritus and former chief executive officer
Howard Schultz, chairman emeritus and former chief executive officer of Starbucks Corp., speaks during his 'From the Ground Up' book tour in Washington, D.C.   -  Copyright  Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg Getty Images file

Howard Shultz, the former Starbucks CEO who had been weighing an independent presidential bid, announced Friday that he will not run for president.

"My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time," Schultz said in statement.

Schultz added that the money he would have allocated to a campaign "will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock."

Schultz announced in January that he was exploring a run for president as an independent.

But his presidential ambitions were widely criticized by Democrats concerned that his bid would end up helping President Donald Trump retain control of the White House.

In April, Schultz announced he would be taking a break from his exploratory campaign as he recovered from back surgery.