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By Everett Rosenfeld, CNBC

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz will leave his post as the company's chief executive, the company said Thursday.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. VCG / VCG via Getty Images

Schultz will become the company's executive chairman, and current President and COO Kevin Johnson will become Starbucks' next CEO.

The changes will take place on April 3, the company said.

Starbucks shares dipped about 4 percent in after hours trading following the news of the planned leadership transition.

Schultz first joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing when the company only had four stores, according to Starbucks.

Johnson, who has been the company's president and chief operating officer, joined Starbucks in 2015, according to his company biography. He has served on the company's board of directors since 2009.

Johnson previously served as CEO of Juniper Networks and was the president of the platforms division at Microsoft.