William C. Cobb was named President and Chief Executive Officer of H&R Block, Inc. in May 2011. He has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since August 2010.
Since Cobb took over as CEO, he has brought a renewed focus to the company anchored in a set of values summed up as “we do the right thing.” For H&R Block that means: we believe in our people, we take care of our clients and we deliver for our shareholders. For the largest branded tax preparation company in the United States with international business in Canada, Australia and India, Cobb has clarified its purpose: to look at its clients’ lives through the lens of taxes and find ways to help.
Cobb, who brought to his role experience in the retail, digital and consumer-brand space, has driven success throughout the company by focusing the organization on its core expertise – tax preparation. His Tax Plus strategy combines tax preparation services with products adjacent to the tax event, such as the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard®, an award winning general purpose reloadable debit card, and Tax Identity Shield®, a product designed to protect consumers from tax identity theft. In addition, under Cobb’s leadership, the company has returned a substantial amount of capital to shareholders, having repurchased approximately 30% of shares outstanding and increased the quarterly dividend by over 45% since Fiscal Year 2012.
Prior to joining H&R Block, Cobb was President of eBay U.S. Marketplaces, the company’s flagship division from 2004 to 2008. Under his management, the eBay division traded $25 billion in goods and services, and reached a record $2.6 billion in revenue. In addition to eBay’s U.S. performance, Cobb was responsible for affiliated businesses such as, StubHub, Shopping.com and Rent.com. Cobb led eBay’s International division from 2002 to 2004. He started with eBay in 2000 as the head of eBay’s Global Marketing, where he developed the company’s first brand campaign and the largest Internet marketing function on the Web.
From 1987 until 2000, Cobb occupied several senior-level positions at PepsiCo and YUM! Brands, including Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of International Marketing for YUM!, and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Pizza Hut U.S.
Cobb earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.