ROB COOK champions change that drives organizational success. He brings perspectives that stimulate creativity and produce options. With a strong ethical and business compass, he pushes the thought limits that help organizations grow and ultimately win in the marketplace – and persuades others to do the same. His gift of seeing things clearly and simply allows him to tease out the real issues and discover the right direction to go. Drawn to the entrepreneurial side of new products, new channels and new approaches, he guides companies and organizations to greater performance.
Most recently, Rob was the first non-family CEO at Speakman Company since 1869. He transitioned the company from a low-margin commercial plumbing business to a high-margin profitable branded fixture company. In this role, he more than doubled both the revenue and share value and grew profitability from a net loss in 2010 to a double-digit EBITDA in 2015. While closing two underperforming businesses, he added an e-commerce strategy that complemented commercial and industrial distribution, resulting in multi-million dollar branded programs with Amazon, Costco, Home Depot and Lowes. In 2013, he opened the Speakman Beijing, China sourcing and quality office.
Previously, with Vistage International, Rob mentored individuals and facilitated group issue sessions for CEOs and business owners. Group sessions covered issues such as Board governance, succession planning, hiring executive teams and termination of executives, defining compensation programs, technology, risk and acquisitions and divestitures. Prior to Vistage, for over a decade Rob was the President of Cook Associates, a sales and marketing consulting firm with clients including Coca-Cola Foods and McCormick. He began his career at W.L. Gore in sales and marketing where he was a member of the original team that launched Gore-Tex to the sports and outdoor recreation category.
Rob served on the Board of Directors of the Speakman Company, is an investor in several private ventures and founder of a 501-c3 philanthropic fund. He received coverage in the Delaware Business Times article, “Speakman Company Expands Market Reach”, and in an INC., article on W. L. Gore, “The Un-Manager”. He has a BA from the University of Delaware and attended the Director’s Academy at the Center for Corporate Governance at Drexel University. During college, Rob was the Captain of the University of Delaware basketball team and continued to play professionally in Europe.