CEO of Foot Locker Europe Lew Kimble has worked across numerous pockets of the globe with the company. His knowledge and experience has led him to senior management positions in the Netherlands, Australia, and the US. He has a long history with the organisation and the retail industry at large. “From my perspective, I decided early on in my life—probably in my teens or early twenties—that retail was the most exciting and most rewarding profession for me to go into. I started off in the store’s organisation, so I started off as a salesman in one of our stores, became a store manager, and then worked my way up through the operations side of our business. So I went from store manager to manager trainer, to district manager, and then had an opportunity to become the head of operations group under the title VP of operations.

“The fortunate thing for me is that I’ve always enjoyed retail because I enjoy the interaction with people and I enjoy the challenge. I think a lot of us, especially if you work on the athletic side of retail, somewhere in our lives, we were quasi-athletes; somehow involved in team sports is what it comes down to. And we were all excited about the chance to compete and, win or lose, the fact that there was an outcome. Retail is one of the few professions where every day you get a score. I come in each morning and I can see yesterday’s results, and I know if it was a good day, bad day, or somewhere in between. So you get a report card every day, or you get a result every day. If you’re a competitive person—I mean, we all want to win more than we want to lose, but there has to at least be an outcome—you have to have a result. And I think that was one of the first things in retail that was exciting for me.”