“The essential entrepreneurial values are usually more innate than taught and include boldness, innovation, and speed.” Bob Cannon knew that in order to be successful, the true entrepreneur is likely to act on instincts that were developed in childhood. Mr. Cannon has done just that. In 1954 he joined Procter and Gamble and continued with them until 1991, serving in various sales, manufacturing and management positions. In 1993, he led a group that purchased P&G’s Buckeye Cellulose, which had been in existence since the early 1900’s. As Chairman and CEO, he renamed it Buckeye Technologies in 1997 and has led the company to become a global leader in the manufacture and marketing of specialty cellulose and absorbent products. Mr. Cannon retired as Chairman and CEO of Buckeye in June 2003 but remains on the Board as Presiding Director.
Mr. Cannon’s dedication to the Memphis community has been virtually unmatched. He has served on the board of such organizations as the Greater Memphis Arts Council, the Memphis Orchestral Society, United Way of the Greater Mid-South, Future Memphis, Junior Achievement, and the Boy Scouts of America. Most notable, though, was the 2001 announcement of the largest gift ever to the Greater Memphis Arts Council – $5 million. The gift made possible the construction of Memphis’ new Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, which will be named in honor of Kitty and Bob Cannon and their family.
Buckeye is a leading manufacturer and marketer of specialty cellulose and absorbent products. The company operates facilities in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Brazil. Its products are sold worldwide to makers of consumer and industrial goods.
“The world needs more entrepreneurs to build economies, create jobs, and raise living standards. The supply of new entrepreneurs, mostly youthful, should equal the need, because nothing in business is as much fun as building a new enterprise.
“There are, of course, some attributes that we must encourage and foster if these motivated young people are to be successful. The essential entrepreneurial values that I have in mind, usually more innate than taught, include boldness, innovativeness, and speed.”
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