Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz departs Groupon’s board

Howard Schultz (Flickr photo via Richard Eriksson)

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has stepped down from the board of Groupon just 16 months after joining forces with the fast-growing Chicago-based daily deal site.

According to a SEC filing today, Schultz resigned from the board effective April 24th. Kara Swisher of All Things D first reported the news, also noting that Accel Partners’ Kevin Efrusy also does not plan to stand for re-election.

Interestingly, I wondered if something was amiss earlier this month when Starbucks entered into a partnership with Google Offers to support the Create Jobs for USA Fund.

At the time of Schultz’s appointment to Groupon’s board, his Seattle venture capital firm, Maveron, also took a stake in the company. At the time, entities affiliated with the coffee titan received 949,668 shares of non-voting common stock, shares granted prior to the IPO.

The resignation by Schultz also comes after some high-profile financial problems at Groupon, problems which led independent auditors to note “material weakness” in its financial controls, according to Swisher’s report.

Replcaging Schultz and Efrusy will be Daniel Henry of American Express Co. and Robert Bass, a vice chairman of Deloitte. Bloomberg reports that those appointments will be used to “shore up investors’ confidence in its accounting.”