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Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Worldwide Kevin Roberts is a radical optimist, a celebrated author, a motivator, a visionary and an evangelist for the power of world-changing ideas. A champion of unconventional thinking and assumption disruption, Kevin has a formidable record of success as a business leader.
Teams he leads revere him for his energy, his uncompromisingly positive and inspirational management style and his extraordinary ability to generate ideas that cut to the heart of any problem.
Using multi-media from Saatchi & Saatchi to engage and provoke his audience Kevin Roberts is not just a speaker, he is an emotion-in-motion experience in what it takes to succeed. As President of Pepsi in Canada after his team blew away Coke and took Pepsi to number one in the market for the first time ever, he celebrated by machine gunning a Coke vending machine on stage at a sales conference. As COO of Australasian brewer Lion Nathan, he shook up analysts by bringing a real lion on a chain to one of his first briefing meetings.
Kevin Roberts was born and educated in Lancaster in the north of England. He started his business career in the late 1960s with the influential London fashion designer Mary Quant and then went on to work as a senior marketing executive for Gillette and Procter & Gamble in Europe and the Middle East. At 32, he became CEO of Pepsi-Cola Middle East; he later became Pepsi's CEO in Canada.
In 1989, Roberts moved with his family to Auckland, New Zealand to become CEO with Lion Nathan, a position he held for seven years.
With academic colleagues, Roberts wrote Peak Performance: Business Lessons from the World's Top Sporting Organizations, which demonstrates an inspiration-driven business theory and practice. In 2004 his book Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands was published. Here Roberts shows how emotion can inspire businesses and brands to deliver sustainable value. The book is supported by a consumer site lovemars.com. His latest books are sisomo: The Future on Screen, a look at accelerating emotional connections in the digital age, and The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution, a collection of influential insights on the impact of Lovemarks in the market.
A passionate sports fan, Roberts was a former director of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and is currently Chairman of the USA Rugby Board of Directors. He has been a long-term trustee of the Turn Your Life Around Trust, an Auckland charity that mentors at-risk teenagers, and a Sponsor Governor of Lancaster Royal Grammar School in the UK, his former school. He is married to Rowena Roberts, and has two daughters and two sons. A New Zealand citizen, he is based in New York and continues to spend time in Auckland as well as Grasmere in the English Lake District.