Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, first started in the organic food business in 1977 and has been with Whole Foods Market since 1991, rising through the ranks to become co-CEO in 2010 and now shares top leadership with Whole Foods co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey. The company employs more than 78,000 people in more than 360 stores across the UK, Canada and the United States — including downtown Boise.
“I have long admired Boise State and the job that President Bob Kustra and his team have done in growing the school in the past 10 years,” Robb said. “I am grateful to be able to play a small part and to have the opportunity to help the students with their careers.”
With a long and varied entrepreneurial history in natural foods, ranging from retailer to farmer to consultant, Walter Robb, co-CEO, joined Whole Foods Market in 1991. He operated the Mill Valley, California, store until he became president of the Northern Pacific Region in 1993, which he grew from two to 17 stores. He became executive vice president of operations in 2000, chief operating officer in 2001, and co-president in 2004. In 2010, Robb became co-CEO, with John Mackey, and joined the Whole Foods Market board of directors.
He is on the board of regents for the University of the Pacific and serves on the boards of directors for Whole Planet Foundation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. He serves as chairman of the board for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation.
Robb is an ardent organic advocate; he works his own organic garden and has served on the boards of directors for the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1976 and is a proud father and grandfather with two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.
In 2013, Robb came to campus as part of the COBE Speaker Series, presented by KeyBank.