Bob Chapman

Chairman & CEO

Bob Chapman
Business could be the most powerful force for good in the world, if leaders would embrace the awesome responsibility of leadership. Caring for people and giving them meaning, purpose and fulfillment through their work is not in disharmony with creating value.

Recently named the #3 CEO in the world in an Inc. magazine article and a Top 10 Social Capital CEO by the International Business Times, Bob Chapman is very intentional about using his platform as Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller to build a better world.

He became the senior executive of the organization in 1975 at age 30, when the 90-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position. Despite the obstacles, Bob applied a unique blend of strategy and culture, and since, has led Barry-Wehmiller through more than 115 successful acquisitions and to $3 billion in revenue.

Over the past two decades, a series of realizations led him away from traditional management practices to a people-centric style, which he calls Truly Human Leadership - an approach with the goal of making team members feel valued, cared for and that they are an integral part of the company’s purpose. At Barry-Wehmiller, there is a unique measure of success: by the way we touch the lives of others.

Bob’s experiences and the cultural transformation he championed were the inspiration behind his Wall Street Journal 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 2010, Bob and his wife, Cynthia, launched a nonprofit, the Chapman Foundation for Caring Communities, to bring the company’s groundbreaking listening training to communities at no charge. And, in 2015, the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute was founded to bring Barry-Wehmiller’s trademark culture transformation and leadership training to for-profit organizations.

Bob regularly writes about the powerful intersection of people-centric leadership and good business strategy on his blog, In 2016, Harvard Business School released a case study illustrating how Barry-Wehmiller applies its people-centric approach to business decision-making.

Bob’s speaking engagements include the Aspen Ideas Festival, Conscious Capitalism events, the ScaleUp Summit, TEDxScottAFB, the 2016 US Congressional Retreat, the Danforth Center’s Seeds of Change, WorldBlu, the CEO Global Leaders Forum, the American Conference on Physician Health, the Institute for HealthCare Consumerism Forum, the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence, the HERO Forum for Employee Health Management and others.

Bob shares his leadership journey and the story of Barry-Wehmiller whenever he can to offer 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.

Bob has a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University Bloomington and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He spent his early career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.