Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
aerial view of the Husson University campus

L.L.Bean President and CEO Discussed Challenges Facing Today’s Businesses at Husson University’s Distinguished Speaker Series

Published on: November 18, 2021

Headshot of man smiling
L.L. Bean president and CEO Stephen Smith

BANGOR, MAINE – The second installment of Husson University’s Distinguished Speaker Series featured L.L.Bean President and CEO Stephen Smith. His presentation took place on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Husson’s Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business.

“Steve’s work experience has included everything from positions at one of the nation’s premier advertising agencies to holding senior leadership positions at the number one ranked company in the Fortune 500,” said Dr. Lynne Coy-Ogan, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Husson. “We appreciated his willingness to share his experiences and insights with our students. Hearing directly from a chief executive officer who has led organizations to success enriched the education of our College of Business students.”  

DSC_7110.NEF-min.jpgThe purpose of Husson University’s new Distinguished Speaker Series is to educate students, alumni and community members on the challenges facing businesses and related professions. In addition, this series is designed to inspire those who will become our future leaders. Launched in September of 2021, in conjunction with the opening of Husson’s new College of Business building, this series includes dynamic speakers from a variety of disciplines ranging from banking, manufacturing, government and security, to management, marketing and more.

“As the home of Maine’s largest College of Business, Husson University is the natural choice for a speaker series that features so many of the nation’s leading professionals,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business. “In addition to furthering the education of our students, gatherings like this provide an opportunity for members of the public to hear directly from influential members of the business community and government who affect our national, state and local economy. Students and other audience members will hear about the history of LL Bean and Steve Smith’s personal journey into leadership along with lessons he learned along the way.” 

Every event in the Distinguished Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Due to concerns about COVID-19, seating was limited. Guests had to register in advance to attend the event. The University required all attendees to wear masks during the presentation.

More about Stephen Smith, President and CEO of L.L.Bean:DSC_6989.NEF-min-0.jpg

Smith began his career in 1992 at J. Walter Thompson in New York City. He moved to Maine in 1997 and later became the vice president of sales and marketing for Resort Sports Network. In 2002, he began his retail career at Hannaford Supermarket. This led to nine years at the Delhaize Group where he gained experience in merchandising, commercial planning, marketing and customer relationship management in the US and Belgium.

In 2011, Smith joined Walmart International as the senior vice president and general manager of Sam's Club and the chief marketing officer for Walmart China in Shenzhen, China. There he gained general management responsibility, integrated e-commerce into the core business and improved annual sales growth.

A year later, Smith became chief customer officer of ASDA (part of Walmart International), a $30+ billion food, fashion and general merchandise omnichannel business in the United Kingdom. In 2015, Smith became the chief merchandising and marketing officer for Yihaodian (part of Walmart Global Ecommerce), a pure e-commerce business located in Shanghai.

Smith is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he studied art history and physics. He grew up in Westchester County, New York and Amherst, Massachusetts. He spends summers on Canada Lake in the Adirondacks at a lake house that has been in his family for generations.

He is very active in outdoor sports and enjoys a wide variety of activities. Smith and his family are excited to be in Maine where they have deep ties and where they can embrace their love of the outdoors and commitment to community.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

Back to All Articles