John Ross

John Ross

President and CEO
IGA International

As president and CEO, John Ross is responsible for domestic and global operations for IGA, the world’s largest independent supermarket network with nearly 6,000 IGA supermarkets in more than 30 countries.

During his career, Ross has served as president, Inmar Promotions network; CEO, IPG Shopper Sciences; and president, IPG Emerging Media Lab. He also has held leadership positions with smaller independents and larger retailers, including Home Depot, in roles ranging from chief marketing officer, store management, merchandising, advertising, marketing and e-commerce.

Ross’s experience spans many industries and areas of focus. He has worked in operations; merchandising and marketing; new, traditional and digital media; and analytics and big data for some of the largest brands in the world, including Coke, P&G, Schwab, Publix, Walmart, Chrysler, Fiat, Sony, Bose, Google, AOL and many more. He has also helped launch and grow some of the world’s largest propriety brands at retail.

Ross is the co-author of the Google Book "ZMOT: Zero Moment of Truth," and the recently published "Fire in the Zoo," a book about shopper influence, marketing mania, retailer chaos, advertising pitfalls, consumer confidence, converting customers and how screaming at people usually doesn't work.

Ross is a champion of data-driven decision making, shopper-focused marketing and active listening. He holds B.A., B.S. and MBA degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans, and serves on a number of retail industry boards, including Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association and Inmar.

He and Marie, his wife of more than 25 years, live in Atlanta, where they have three kids and too many pets.

Session Information

Keynote Presentation

Understand Who Your Real Competitors Are … Then Go Get ‘Em
Session Location TBD

All too often, today’s independent grocery retailers are concentrated on beating the store down the street or the next town over. Is it really the competitor you need to worry about? During this session, John Ross addresses the question, bringing his experience that spans many industries and areas of focus, including his current role as president and CEO of the largest group of independent retailers in the world. Participants will explore changes in our industry that impact the traditional way we think about competition, focusing on three areas:

• Exploring how fast casual restaurants and delivery are chipping away at your sales.
• Learning why it is important to refocus your efforts, moving from selling stuff to solving problems for time-starved shoppers.
• Discovering how an increase in convenience-driven foods can help you become the “meal solution center” your shoppers need.