Former Nestlé president to lead CGU starting in July

Claremont Graduate University has named former Nestlé USA President and Chief Operating Officer Robert “Bob” Schult as interim president. Mr. Schult will step in for current President Deborah Freund, who announced in December she would not seek a second term.

He takes office on July 1 and will work closely with Ms. Freund and other administrators over the next three months to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr. Schult will bring a distinct business sense to an already established academic leadership team. As former president and chief operating officer of Nestlé USA, and a co-founder and former managing director at VMG Equity Partners, he has held key positions managing more than 50 leading consumer brands and $8 billion in sales across diverse product segments.

Mr. Schult has served on Claremont Graduate University’s Board of Trustees since 2011. In addition, he has served on several other boards, including The Times Mirror Company and UCLA’s Anderson School of Business.

“Bob knows CGU well. Since late fall of 2013 he has supported Jacob Adams, executive vice president and provost, in overseeing the university’s internal operations, building a dedicated and effective management team, and developing a strategic plan to position CGU for long-term success,” said Michael Rossi, chairman of CGU’s Board of Trustees.  “We are fully confident that Bob is capable of ensuring the university’s financial sustainability and furthering its commitment to academic excellence.”

 “My day-to-day involvement over the past 16 months as chair of the Business and Finance Committee has given me an extraordinary opportunity to become acquainted not only with the intricacies and challenges of the university,” Schult said. “I have a very hands-on, team-oriented approach, and I am excited to take the helm at this pivotal moment in CGU’s history.”

Ms. Schult has expressed his firm commitment to supporting CGU’s educational goals.

“Working closely with Bob for more than a year has assured me that our academic mission and the dedication to the faculty that guide it will be met in this appointment,” said David Pagel, professor and chair of the faculty. “Bob has demonstrated a commitment to candor and to meeting challenges head-on, while proving tremendous respect for faculty, students, and staff.”

The Board of Trustees will issue the timetable and approach on the recruitment of a permanent president in the near future.


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