Women’s Wear Daily
04.24.2014
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people

In Person: Industry Players on Bob Campbell

Executives from across the industry offer their thoughts on Mr. Campbell's many accomplishments and contributions to the shoe business.

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Joe Ouaknine

Joe Ouaknine

Photo By George Chinsee

Diane Sullivan

Photo By Moritz & Co.

Jim Issler

Photo By Courtesy of H.H. Brown

Executives from across the industry offer their thoughts on Mr. Campbell’s many accomplishments and contributions to the shoe business.

Joe Ouaknine
CEO, Titan Industries

“I love Bob. I know how generous he is. In our industry he is one of the top if not the top in philanthropy. I am also a little envious. He built an empire without having a warehouse full of shoes he can’t sell. He simply does not carry inventory. That’s called a fantasy in my world. He is a great friend and a prince.”

Diane Sullivan
President & CEO, Brown Shoe Co.

“Bob’s experience and insight in the children’s footwear industry is legendary. For many years, we enjoyed a healthy competition with him through our children’s division. Today, we are lucky to have a dual relationship with Bob, both as a licensing partner for our children’s brands and as a vendor to Famous Footwear. I’ve had a working relationship with Bob for more than 20 years and, more than anything else, I consider him a friend.”

Jim Issler
President & CEO, H.H. Brown

“Bobby Campbell and I have been friends for quite a long time. I have always known him to be an energetic, passionate and compassionate person. Friends and business associates alike have a deep affection for him, and his philanthropic endeavors have truly made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of individuals. He is, and should continue to be, an inspiration and role model to any and every young aspiring executive in this industry.”

Ken Hicks
Chairman & CEO, Foot Locker Inc.

“Bob is a wonderful success story that shows good guys can finish first. He has done so much for the shoe industry, from building the kids’ shoe business for all levels of retail to leading key industry organizations such as the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America and FFANY, and supporting our community on many fronts, especially with Two Ten Footwear Foundation. He also has taken the time to help in the development of the careers and skills of so many in the footwear industry. We at Foot Locker are very proud of the fact that he is part of our family since he got his start at Kinney Shoes.”

Sonny Shar
Non-executive chairman, Pentland USA Inc.

“If you want to know the nuts and bolts of the footwear industry, [Bob] is the right man to talk to. He’s a gentleman and he’s always very helpful and insightful. Having traveled overseas with him, I’ve seen his knowledge of the industry both domestically and internationally. His knowledge of the overseas market regarding sourcing and buying, and what is right for retail in America and throughout the world [is unmatched].”

Blake Krueger
Chairman, president & CEO, Wolverine World Wide Inc.

“Bobby is one of the ‘deans’ of the footwear industry and one of the people who has inspired me to do more and give back to the footwear community. He’s led his company to great success as a tough but fair competitor, someone who leads from the front. Like many people in the industry, I know Bobby from his years of service as chair and a board member of Two Ten, the FDRA and FFANY. His heart is as big as anyone’s I know. For many years, he has demonstrated his passion for helping others by giving his time, talent and treasure to the footwear community.”

Matt Rubel
Senior adviser, TPG Capital (and former chairman, president & CEO of Collective Brands Inc.)

“Bobby is one of the true entrepreneurs in the footwear industry who is not just a great business leader but also a great human being. He has been an innovator in sourcing and a great advocate for his team members. In addition, he treats the entire industry as his family and gives back to many. His passion, ingenuity and leadership has made a difference to us all.”

Steve Hill
VP of merchandising, Zappos.com

“Bob Campbell is a true icon in the footwear industry. His passion for children’s footwear and drive to improve quality and selection is unmatched. The Zappos team has learned much from him over the years, and he was a true visionary in supporting us in the early days. He works tirelessly for the industry and for Two Ten in its efforts to improve our industry for employees, customers and companies.”

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