Starbucks says it will hire 15,000 more veterans after facing backlash for refugee hiring plan

Having recently hit its target of hiring 10,000 veterans, Starbucks just announced plans to hire 15,000 more.

Starbucks announced at its annual shareholders' meeting on Wednesday that it hit its initial goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses one year ahead of the company's 2018 deadline. The coffee chain is aiming to accomplish its new goal of hiring a total of 25,000 veterans by 2025.

The news comes after the chain received backlash for its plan to hire 10,000 refugees globally in the next five years. In response, some customers started a #BoycottStarbucks campaign on social media.

In February, the coffee giant's consumer perception levels fell by two-thirds after CEO Howard Schultz announced the company's plans to hire refugees in late January, according to YouGov BrandIndex.

Some customers thought that the coffee chain was hiring refugees instead of veterans, though Starbucks clarified that was incorrect.

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Schultz, who will officially step down as Starbucks' CEO on April 3, has been known for his progressive politics, supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Justin Danhof, the general counsel for the conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research, plans to raise concerns at the shareholders meeting regarding Starbucks refugee hiring plan and Schultz's criticism of President Trump's initial executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.

See photos of CEO Howard Schultz:

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz appears on the Fox Business Network's Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo television program in New York City, November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS FOOD)
Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, poses for a portrait at his new Teavana store in New York, October 23, 2013. Starbucks Corp, which has doubled down on its tea bet, is opening its first Teavana tea bar in New York City this week, aiming to do for tea, the world's second most popular beverage after water, what it has done for coffee. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS FOOD)
Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz, pictured with images from the company's new "Race Together" project behind him, speaks during the company's annual shareholder's meeting in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015. Schultz has deftly navigated thorny issues such as gay marriage, gun control and Congressional gridlock, but his move to weigh in on U.S. race relations has brewed up a social media backlash. The company kicked off the discussion when it published full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers earlier this week with the words "Shall We Overcome?" at center page and "RaceTogether" and the Starbucks logo near the bottom. REUTERS/David Ryder (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz speaks during the company's annual shareholder's meeting in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015. Starbucks Corp will begin offering delivery in New York City and Seattle later this year, when it also plans to expand mobile order and pay services across the United States. REUTERS/David Ryder (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, attends a dinner reception for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle, Washington September 22, 2015. Xi landed in Seattle on Tuesday to kick off a week-long U.S. visit that will include meetings with U.S. business leaders, a black-tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and an address at the United Nations. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
Howard Schultz CEO of Starbucks poses during an interview with Reuters in Shanghai April 19, 2012. Starbucks Corp wants to make its mainland China expansion a family affair. The world's biggest coffee chain is opening cafes in China at a rate of one every four days in its quest to expand from about 570 shops today to more than 1,500 by 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES)
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks to shareholders about the company's partnership with the Keurig single-serve coffee brewing machine, at the company's annual meeting of shareholders in Seattle, Washington March 23, 2011. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz talks to shareholders at the Starbucks Annual Shareholders meeting at McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington March 19, 2008. REUTERS/Marcus R. Donner (UNITED STATES)
Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz speaks during an interview in Tokyo April 13, 2010. Starbucks plans to sell its Via brand instant coffee in grocery stores and other retail channels outside its own outlets in Japan in the future, Schultz said. To match interview STARBUCKS/JAPAN REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT)
Howard Schultz, the President of Starbucks Coffee Company takes a sip of coffee as he assists in the opening of his first coffee house in Paris, January 15, 2004. The coffee house is situated on Avenue de l'Opera at the heart of Paris' tourist district. REUTERS/Charles Platiau PP04010041 MAL/WS
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"Coffee has no political allegiance, but Starbucks under Schultz's leadership has been unwavering in its support of liberal causes to the detriment of its brand and shareholder value," Danhof, who is a shareholder, said in a statement prior to the meeting. "As Schultz is set to retire next month, it remains to be seen if his successor will work to unite Americans and make Starbucks more inviting to conservative and libertarian consumers, or if the company's new leadership will continue Schultz's divisive politicking."

Despite backlash, Starbucks has remained committed to its plan to hire refugees.

On Wednesday, the company announced partnerships with organizations dedicated to helping refugees develop skills and find jobs, including the International Rescue Committee, the UN Refugee Agency, and No One Left Behind. Starbucks also formally joined the the UN Refugee Agency's #WithRefugees campaign, to express solidarity and support for refugees.

"Starbucks' strong financial performance over the last 25 years as a publicly traded company has allowed for strategic investments in social impact initiatives – driving greater connection between partners and the millions of customers it serves in 75 countries worldwide," the company said in a statement announcing its veteran and refugee hiring commitments.

NOW WATCH: Starbucks is selling this smart mug that lets you control your coffee temperature

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SEE ALSO: Starbucks has become a target of Trump-loving conservatives — and that's great news for the brand

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