About Bob Chapman
Recently named the #3 CEO in the world by Inc., Bob Chapman is very intentional about using his platform as a business leader to build a better world.
Chapman is chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based Barry-Wehmiller, a $3B global manufacturing business with almost 12,000 team members. The company began as a small pasteurizing and bottle washer business in 1885 and, through acquisition and organic growth, has grown into 12 business units serving primarily the packaging, paper converting, sheeting and corrugating industries. Chapman became the senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when the 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position. Despite the obstacles, Chapman applied a unique blend of strategy and culture over the next 40 years in leading Barry-Wehmiller through more than 100 successful acquisitions.
Over the past two decades, a series of realizations led him away from traditional management practices to what he now calls Truly Human Leadership — a people-centric approach where his employees feel valued, cared for, and an integral part of the company’s purpose. At Barry-Wehmiller, they have a unique measure of success: by the way they touch the lives of people.
Chapman’s experiences and the transformation he championed were the inspiration behind his 2015 WSJ bestseller Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. The book is co-authored by Raj Sisodia, founder and co-author of Conscious Capitalism.
Chapman regularly writes about the powerful intersection of people-centric leadership and good business strategy on his blog, TrulyHumanLeadership.com, and on LinkedIn, where he is an Editor’s pick. In 2016, Harvard Business School released a case study featuring Barry-Wehmiller’s unique approach to business.
Chapman’s list of speaking engagements include the Aspen Ideas Festival, Conscious Capitalism events, Fortune Scale Up Summit, TEDxScottAFB, the 2016 US Congressional Retreat, WorldBlu, CEO Global Leaders Forum, International City Managers Association, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence International Conference, Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum, Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence Conference, HERO Forum for Employee Health Management, and numerous others.
Chapman shares his leadership journey and the story of Barry-Wehmiller whenever he can as it is an example of the way businesses and organizations should be: focused on creating value for all stakeholders — team members, customers, communities and shareholders. Not only is it the right thing to do, it creates meaning and fulfillment for team members.
Chapman has a B.A. from Indiana University and an MBA from Michigan. He spent his early career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.