Sir Richard Branson is founder of the Virgin Group. Virgin is a leading international investment group and one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors including mobile telephony, travel & transportation, financial services, leisure & entertainment and health & wellness. Virgin has created more than 400 branded companies worldwide, operating in over 50 countries.
Sir Richard has challenged himself with many record-breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of hot air balloon journeys and kite surfing across the Channel. He has described Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space line, as “the greatest adventure of all.”
He is also a record breaker online, voted the UK’s number one Twitter user, the world’s most social CEO and the world’s most followed person on LinkedIn. He maintains a daily blog on virgin.com with more than 21 million followers across five social networks.
Since starting youth culture magazine, Student, at age 16, Sir Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world. In 2004 he established non-profit foundation Virgin Unite to tackle tough social and environmental problems and strives to make business a force for good. Most of his time is now spent working with Virgin Unite and organizations it has incubated, such as The Elders, Carbon War Room, B Team and Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We are proud to have Richard Branson as one of our San Francisco Celebrity Speakers
Robert Herjavec is one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders. Born in Eastern Europe, he arrived to North America on a boat with his parents after escaping Communism in the former Yugoslavia. From delivering newspapers, and waiting tables, to launching a computer company from his basement, his drive to achieve has led him to the fulfillment of a better life for himself and his family.
A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built and sold several IT companies to major players such as AT&T. In 2003 Robert founded Herjavec Group, and it quickly became one of North America’s fastest growing technology companies, scaling from $400K in annual sales revenue to a run rate of $150 million. Today, Herjavec Group is recognized as a global leader in information security specializing in managed security services, compliance, incident response and remediation efforts for enterprise level organizations.
His inspiring books, “Driven” and “The Will to Win”, were simultaneously Top 10 Bestsellers that earned him the title of “Best Selling Author”. Robert’s motivational business advice has received millions of impressions through TV, print, radio and digital media. He shares his expertise with other entrepreneurs each week as a leading Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit Shark Tank.
For the past four years, Robert has competed as Ferrari #007 for Herjavec Group Racing in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series, achieving multiple podiums and winning Rookie of The Year in 2011. To Robert, running a business is a lot like one of his greatest passions, racing cars. He believes, “You have to stay laser-focused when driving a car over 200 miles an hour, and the same approach is required when growing a business in today’s world of rapidly changing technology.” Rober is one of our most popular San Francisco Celebrity Speakers
Douglas R. Conant, New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker founded Conant Leadership, a growing community of people dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century, in 2011. He is also honored to serve as Chairman of Avon Products as well as Chairman of the Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute (KELI) at Northwestern University. The newly formed KELI initiative is designed to help leaders of today enhance their ability to lead in the “here and now.” This program combines the best insights of the Kellogg academic curriculum with the best practices of “world class” leaders across the landscape at the highest levels of the organization. An advocate for ethical practices and corporate responsibility, Conant is the current Chairman of CECP (formerly known as the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy). He is an active member of the boards of the National Organization on Disabilities (NOD), the Partnership for Public Service (PPS), Enactus, the Families and Work Institute (FWI), and the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF). He is also a former chairman of both the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and The Conference Board (TCB), where he remains a Global Counselor, and he is a former board member of Catalyst. From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. Conant was the 11th leader of this iconic company’s 141-year history – faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value.
Conant succeeded by dramatically transforming the global leadership team, reconfiguring the portfolio, cutting costs and making strategic investments in Campbell’s products, marketing programs, innovation pipeline and infrastructure. As a result, the company was able to deliver cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry. The key enabler of this performance was Campbell’s march towards achieving world-class employee engagement levels. During the decade of Conant’s leadership, employee engagement went from being among the worst in the Fortune 500 to being consistently among the best. Campbell has been widely recognized for its progress; its many honors range from being recognized by the Gallup organization with its “Great Workplace Award” for four years running to receiving the 2010 Catalyst Award for helping women advance their careers.
During his tenure, the company was also recognized as a leader in social responsibility and ethical leadership. Conant joined Campbell with 25 years of experience from three of the world’s leading food companies: General Mills, Kraft and Nabisco. He began his career in 1976 in marketing at General Mills. After 10 years, he moved to Kraft where he held top management positions in marketing and strategy. Immediately prior to coming to Campbell, he was President of the $3.5 billion Nabisco Foods Company where he led his team to improved marketplace performance and five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth. Douglas is one of our San Francisco Celebrity Speakers
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