Recently named the #3 CEO in the world in an Inc. magazine article and a Top 10 Social Capital CEO by International Business, Bob Chapman is very intentional about using his platform as a business leader to build a better world. Chapman is CEO of St. Louis, MO-based Barry-Wehmiller, a $3 billion global capital equipment business with more than 12,000 team members. He 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senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when the 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position.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 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.
In 2012, Chapman and his wife Cynthia launched a non-profit, Our Community Listens, to bring the company’s groundbreaking training at no charge to communities. And in 2015, the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute was founded to bring Barry-Wehmiller’s trademark culture transformation training to for-profit organizations.
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 illustrating how Barry-Wehmiller applies its people-centric approach to business decision-making.
Chapman’s speaking engagements include the Aspen Ideas Festival, Conscious Capitalism events, Fortune Scale Up Summit, TEDxScottAFB, the 2016 US Congressional Retreat, Danforth’s Seeds of Change, WorldBlu, CEO Global Leaders Forum, American Conference on Physician Health, Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum, Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence, HERO Forum for Employee Health Management, and 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 BA from Indiana University and an MBA from Michigan. He spent his early career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.