CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
Kevin Roberts likes ideas and loves inspiration. And hates the word “but”. He’s constantly provocative and restless. Kevin is also the originator of Lovemark thinking, the methodology that differentiates us from all of our competitors.
Kevin Roberts, born and educated in Lancaster in the north of England, started his career in the late 1960s with iconic London fashion house Mary Quant. He became a senior marketing executive for Gillette and Procter & Gamble in Europe and the Middle East. When he was 32, he became the CEO of Pepsi-Cola Middle East: he later became Pepsi’s CEO in Canada.
In 1989, he moved with his family to Auckland, New Zealand to become Chief Operating Officer with Lion Nathan, a position he held for seven years.
Kevin took up his position as CEO Worldwide with Saatchi & Saatchi in 1997.
He has an international reputation for an uncompromisingly positive, inspirational leadership style, and an extraordinary ability to generate ideas and emotional connections that accelerate value.
Kevin is the inaugural CEO in Residence at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, a top 10 school in the Financial Times Global MBA 2008 rankings, an Honorary Professor at the University of Auckland and an Honorary Professor of Creative Leadership at Lancaster University. In July 2009, he accepted the award of Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the same university. A keen supporter of emerging economies, he is also Honorary Professor of the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Waikato. New Zealand, in recognition of his contribution to business and sport.
With academic colleagues from the Waikato Management School, Kevin wrote Peak Performance: Business Lessons from the World’s Top Sporting Organizations. In 2004 he wrote Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, a ground-breaking business book published in 18 languages. His book, SISOMO: The Future On Screen, looks at the central role of sight, sound and motion in accelerating emotional connections in the digital age. The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution, is a collection of influential insights on the impact of Lovemarks in markets worldwide. Most recently, Kevin was asked by Renzo Rosso to write the text for Diesel: XXX Years of Communication, a book marking the 30th anniversary of the iconic brand.
The Citizens for NYC awarded Kevin the 2004 New Yorker for New York Award. In 2004 he was appointed business ambassador for the New Zealand United States Council in the US, to complement government-to-government relationships. A former director of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, he is the current Chairman of the Board of USA Rugby. He was appointed a Director of Telecom, New Zealand, the country’s largest publicly-listed company, in 2008.
Kevin is a Trustee of the Turn Your Life Around Trust, an Auckland charity that mentors at-risk teenagers, and is a Sponsor Governor of Lancaster Royal Grammar School in the UK.
Kevin is married to Rowena Roberts, and has two daughters and two sons. A New Zealand citizen, he has offices and homes in Auckland, New York, St Tropez and Grasmere in the English Lake District (where the poet, William Wordsworth of ‘Daffodils’ fame once lived).