Alumni and Friends Directory
Douglas R. Conant
Title/Company: Best-selling Author and former CEO, Campbell Soup Company
MBA, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
B.A., Political Science, Northwestern University
Huntsman School Interactions:
Global Advisory Board Member 2018 - Present
The World's Principled Leaders Speaker - March 19, 2021
Douglas R. Conant is a New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker with over 25 years of leadership experience in world-class global companies. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership, a growing community of people dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century. Deeply committed to leadership, he also serves as Chairman of the Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute (KELI) at Northwestern University as well as Chairman of Avon Products.
From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. He was the 11th leader of this iconic company's 141-year history - faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value. Conant dramatically transformed the global leadership team, reconfigured the portfolio, cut costs, and made integral strategic investments. These visionary changes resulted in cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry. Conant's mission to achieve superior employee engagement levels was a crucial contributor to the company's exemplary performance. Under his leadership, employee engagement at Campbell Soup went from being among the worst in the Fortune 500 to being consistently among the best. The company was also celebrated as a leader in social responsibility and ethical leadership during his tenure. A lifelong advocate for ethical practices and corporate responsibility, Conant remains actively involved with many non-profits and advocacy programs.
Conant earned his BA degree from Northwestern University and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Before serving as CEO of Campbell Soup, Conant worked for three of the world's best food companies. He began in marketing at General Mills, held leadership positions in marketing and strategy at Kraft, and served as President of the Nabisco Foods Company where he led his team to five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth.
Conant speaks widely to people and organizations on effective and enduring leadership practices for the modern age. He is the co-author with Mette Norgaard of the New York Times bestseller "Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments." He is a featured blogger on leadership issues at Harvard Business Review online and also writes extensively about leadership on the ConantLeadership Slog and Linkedln.