Former Starbucks CEO won't seek U.S. presidency

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FORMER STARBUCKS CEO, HOWARD SHULTZ, SAYING: "So in the next few months I will make a decision as to what I'm gonna do..."

And he's made that decision - Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will not be running for president as a third party candidate.

According to a letter to supporters on his website. Schultz says he did not want to split the electorate and help re-elect U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020.

The announcement may come as a relief to Democrats worried about splitting the anti-Trump vote.

Schultz never officially declared his candidacy, but he hit the road earlier this year to test the waters, talking to Americans in town hall-style events, where the life-long Democrat and billionaire criticized the party for moving too far left on certain issues

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) FORMER STARBUCKS CEO, HOWARD SHULTZ, SAYING: "First off, I would say if a Democrat socialist goes against Donald Trump, if I was a betting person which I am not, Donald Trump is going to get re-elected and the spoiler in the race is that Democrat socialist that's the spoiler."

The 66-year old suffered a back injury earlier this year, which he cited in his letter as another factor in his decision.

Friday's announcement ends months of speculation, fueled after Schultz announced in June 2018 that he was leaving Starbucks after leading the company for over 30 years.