Join us for this annual lecture series featuring outstanding individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in world markets.
This year we welcome Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market, the world's leading retailer of natural and organic foods. Robb, a natural foods entrepreneur with wide-ranging experience, has also worked as a farmer and industry consultant.
Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991, opening a storefront in Mill Valley, Calif. He operated the store until 1993, when he was named president of Whole Foods’ Northern Pacific Region. He led the region’s growth from two to 17 stores, including four acquisitions.
Robb’s career at Whole Foods continued to expand. In 2000, he was appointed executive vice-president of operations, then chief operating officer in 2001, co-president in 2004 and co-CEO in 2010. Today, he oversees purchasing, marketing, distribution and quality standards.
Robb’s professional affiliations include the Retail Industry Leaders Association board of directors and the Organic Center for Education and Promotion advisory board. He also helps lead two nonprofit organizations founded by Whole Foods Market. He is chairman of the board of Whole Kids Foundation, which partners with schools, educators and organizations to provide healthy food choices for children, and he serves on the board of directors of the Whole Planet Foundation, which helps alleviate poverty worldwide in communities that supply products to Whole Foods. In addition, he is a member of the board of regents for the University of the Pacific.
Robb graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1976.
About Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market began in 1980 with one store in Austin, Texas, and has since grown to more than 340 stores in the United States and United Kingdom.
About Dively Frontiers in Globalization lecture Series
This series is made possible by a grant from the George S. Dively Foundation and sponsored by the R.A. Ritter Foundation. Previous speakers have included:
- Sir Ken Robinson
- Jim Lehrer
- David McCullough
- Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey
- David Gergen
- Wolf Blitzer
- Anderson Cooper
- Judy Woodruff
- Soledad O'Brien