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Starbucks CEO Withdraws from Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Gay rights activists had protested Howard Schultz's scheduled appearance.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will no longer be one of the key speakers at this week's Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He will be replaced by Pat Lencioni, author of The Five Disfunctions of a Team. Lencioni has spoken at the summit three previous times, and according to his published bio, was rated among the conference's "top 10 general sessions of all time. "

Schultz, who has not previously spoken at Willow Creek's leadership summit, recently published his second book on leadership, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul.

His appearance was the subject of an online campaign at Change.org, launched by political consultant Asher Huey.

"Schultz is speaking at a conference hosted at and sponsored by an anti-gay church. This is unacceptable," the petition said. "The church has long practiced dangerous conversion therapy to 'cure' people of their sexual orientation. … Not denouncing these practices is tacit approval."

It is not known at this time whether Schultz's ...

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