Keynote Speaker Douglas Conant

Douglas Conant

Former CEO, Campbell Soup Company; Chairman, Avon Products; Chairman, Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute; New York Times Best Selling Business Author

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $50,001 and above i
  • Languages Spoken
  • Travels From
    Illinois, USA

Suggested Keynote Speeches & Programs

Douglas Conant’s Key Accomplishments Include . . . 
Douglas R. Conant, New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker is dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century. He serves 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.

Doug 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 also a featured blogger on leadership issues at Harvard Business Review online.

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 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.

Douglas 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, Conant 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.

More About Speaker, Doug Conant. . .
An advocate for ethical practices and corporate responsibility, Doug 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.

Conant earned his BA degree from Northwestern University and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Testimonials 7

  • “Douglas Conant’s keynote presentation and insights were of enormous value in preparing our members to assume the CEO role in their companies. They particularly appreciated the time he took to have individual conversations between each session. Doug practices what he preaches, and these personal interactions had a profound impact on our members.”

    Kendall Crolius

    Managing Director, G100 Next Generation Leadership

  • “Doug Conant was the perfect keynote for our daylong conference with regional leaders from the business, civic and government sectors. His down-to-earth style and lessons from his long and distinguished career as a business leader, set the tone for a great day for our group. His remarks played to all members of our audience, not just business leaders and gave people easy-to-apply lessons for their own work. The way you could tell he made a difference was how often his remarks were brought back into the conversations throughout the day.  Doug also was excellent in the unscripted portion of his segment, providing great responses to a wide array of challenging and thought-provoking questions. Thanks again for recommending Doug as our keynote speaker!”

    Steven T. Wray

    Executive Director, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

  • “We all found Doug’s words insightful and inspiring. He is an engaging and thoughtful speaker and his approach and advice regarding interpersonal skills and relationships in the workplace was immediately actionable and practical.”


  • “Doug Conant has proven himself to be a very disciplined CEO – focused, able to let go of what doesn’t fit, building greatness step-by-step, laying foundations for decades down the road while delivering results today. His example shows how effective business leadership can be quiet and bold, studious and decisive, disciplined and creative.”

    Jim Collins

    Author of Good to Great

  • “Thinking about leadership as managing an ongoing series of touch points is a fascinating concept. What you once considered to be interruptions will be appreciated as the serious stuff of business, to be managed and used every day.”

    Shelly Lazarus

    Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

  • “Walk every shift on the factory floor – you will learn more from that than what you read in the productivity reports. Make yourself available 24/7, care about people, they are the business. This is all about effective leadership, and effective leadership is what drives shareowner value and career progression.”

    Bill Perez

    Former President and CEO, Nike

  • “Doug’s thought provoking presentation at the CEO Alliance with over 40 Philadelphia CEOs in the audience provided a marvelous synthesis of his thirty five year business career, the steps he took to turnaround and sustain the performance at the iconic Campbell Soup Company, and his longstanding practice of taking a disciplined “tough-minded” approach to performance, coupled with a “tender-hearted” approach to people. In winning over this audience of experienced senior executives, he convincingly demonstrated his own adherence to competency, character, courage, and chemistry.”

    Mitch Wienick

    President/CEO, Kelleher Associates, LLC

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