He previously spent 10 years at Walmart, where he was widely recognized for leading their sustainability efforts, reimagining their private brands and leading eCommerce initiatives like home grocery delivery.
A TED speaker who has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Ruben, one of Walmart’s youngest corporate officers, has testified before the US Senate and the House of Representatives as an expert in business and sustainability.
Ruben is one of six leaders (including Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden) featured in the book Organizational Champions and his accomplishments were highlighted by bestselling author Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence and Ecological Intelligence) and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tom Freidman.
As Walmart’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Ruben positioned the company into what was described as the “epicenter of sustainability.” Within three years his innovative approach transformed nearly every area of Walmart’s global business, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in bottom line efficiencies while altering the business plans of 60,000+ suppliers across hundreds of industries and consumer categories.
Following his success in the sustainability area, Ruben returned to consumer products to “re-imagine” the role of private brands, including launching a new billion dollar brand and repositioning several of the world’s largest brands. His efforts have catalyzed the industry and accelerated the role of private brands across retailing.
As part of the “re-imagine” effort, Ruben leveraged social media to improve the quality of Walmart’s private brands. By utilizing real time statistical analysis of tweets and social posts, Walmart was able to identify potential quality issues before they became widespread. In essence, Ruben leveraged the power of customers to create feedback loops for its private brand vendors resulting in better products in Walmart stores.
After moving with his wife and two children to the Bay Area to lead Walmart’s integration of e-Commerce, Ruben launched several innovative programs including online grocery and the ability to order items on-line and pick them up in store the same day.
Ruben graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Engineering and an MBA, both from Washington University in St. Louis. He has been recognized professionally as the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year, a Retailing Rising Star by Chain Store Age, and a 40 Under 40 Business Leader.