Michael Campbell

Michael Campbell

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Fair Isaac Corporation
BSAAE 1983




Michael Campbell enjoys a good challenge. So, his latest professional incarnation within the beleaguered financial services industry may be right up his alley. "I like finding new answers to difficult problems," says Campbell, an entrepreneur who has built a career and wide reputation applying mathematics and analytics to the solution of a broad range of problems.

Considered a pioneer in the application of mathematical optimization to complex management tasks and widely recognized for his ability to solve almost any problem while conserving resources, Campbell honed his skills at Purdue, where he was "immersed in a field that consisted of some of the smartest folk I had ever met."

After graduation, Campbell co-founded General Optimization with two professors from the University of Chicago that aimed to "bring optimization down to the microcomputer and make it widely available." His entrepreneurial endeavors later expanded to include Campbell Software, which he founded in 1989. That company would go on to develop the leading workforce management solution for the labor-intensive retail marketplace and become the top-selling provider of workforce management applications in U.S. retail industry. Campbell Software was sold to SAP Americas in 1999 for an undisclosed amount.

In 2005, Campbell joined Fair Isaac Corporation and is now executive vice president and chief operating officer. In this role, he is responsible for sales, global product line P&L functions, product management, professional services and partner management for Fair Isaac's diverse portfolio of analytic solutions and software. Fair Isaac Corporation applies high-level math to study fraud, determine credit worthiness and predict consumer behavior.

On the challenges and future possibilities of his current job, Campbell says: "Imagine if you could put more power behind your decisions every day? What if we could use this power to better fight fraud and crime? What if we could employ it to make more efficient resource allocation decisions or improve targeting of products to customers? This is what I am working on now, and it promises to finally bring these types of technologies to a much broader range of issues."

With a penchant for problem solving that has permeated his entire career, Campbell continues to be preoccupied with math so difficult that it requires a computer to perform the calculations. But at the end of the day, what gives this enterprising engineer the most satisfaction is helping others.

"I find the greatest reward in helping people solve difficult problems," Campbell says.