Robert Nakasone, a former Student Body President at Verdugo Hills High School, was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of Toys 'R' Us, Inc., the world's premier retailer of children's products.
The company operates 1,454 stores including 698 toy stores in the United States and 441 international toys stores in 28 countries, 215 Kids 'R' Us children's clothing stores, 98 Babies 'R' Us stores, and 2 KidsWorld stores. The company's total sales in 1997 exceeded $11 billion. With this latest appointment, Mr. Nakasone has become the highest-ranking Asian-American of a Fortune 100 corporation.
After graduating from Verdugo, Mr. Nakasone attended Claremont McKenna College where he received his B.A. cum laude in 1969. He graduated with honors in 1971 from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business MBA program.
Mr. Nakasone spent his first 13 years in business with the Jewel Companies in Chicago (now American Stores, Inc.) and at the age of 26 was named Vice-President of the Osco Drug Store division, the second largest drug store chain in the United States. This promotion earned him the distinction of being the youngest vice president in the history of the company. Five years later, he gained the distinction of becoming the youngest president in the company when he was named President of the Brighams Ice Cream and Restaurant Division at the age of 31. Later, Mr. Nakasone headed up the Midwest division of the Jewel Food Stores.
In 1985, Mr. Nakasone joined Toys 'R' Us as President, USA Toy Stores. Four years later, his duties were expanded to President, Worldwide Toy Stores. He was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation in 1994 and, in February 1998, was promoted to his current role as Chief Executive Officer.
In addition to serving as a member of the Toys 'R' Us Board of Directors, he is a Trustee of Claremont McKenna College, a member of the Board of Directors of Staples, Inc., a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus Institute, and is Honorary Chairman of the Japanese American National Museum Leadership Campaign.
Mr. Nakasone's wife of 30 years is the former Lynn Weaks, also a graduate of the VHHS Class of Winter 1966. The couple have four children: Anna (26), Robert (24), Sarah (21), and Tom (19).