Most Americans know that if they want, say, a triple grande nonfat latte, they can probably find a Starbucks location within five blocks of their home. After all, there are nearly 10,000 company-operated store locations worldwide, with over 6,700 of those in the U.S.
But back when we included CEO Howard Schultz in an "On the Rise" feature in our October 24, 1988 issue, Starbucks had just "16 stores and ten bars in Chicago, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver." Schultz, 35 at the time, was indeed rising, and his company continues to do so today. This year, it hopped to #241 (from #261 in 2009) on our Fortune 500 list and Schultz still helms it, after taking an eight-year hiatus from the CEO spot.
NEXT: Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Last updated December 01 2010: 6:26 PM ET