The 10 Most Influential CEOs of Latin America
They chair big companies in Latin America and they have not only increased the profitability for stockholders, but they have stayed on the right course and improved the performance even in times of crisis.
With brilliant careers and unstoppable achievements, they have shined in the entrepreneurial scenery, the media and the business community because of their results.
This selection we give you from PanamericanWorld is not only based on rankings and estimates, its spectrum is wider, for instance, as it includes women. It’s important to point out that the list has been randomly ordered and it does not entail any sort of assessment.
Miguel Galuccio CEO ofYPF
This 47-year-old Argentinean Oil Engineer joined YPF shortly after his graduation. He advanced rapidly in his career, managed the company’s business in Indonesia and supported the project in April 1995 when YPF bought US oil company Maxus Energy. He was away from the company for some months after YPF was acquired by Repsol in 1999 and he joined oil services company Schlumberger, where he was in charge of the operations in Mexico and Central America. Mr. Galuccio was appointed CEO of YPF when the Argentinean government decided to nationalize it in 2012.
Why is he described as influential? He has encouraged international oil markets to trust in Argentina in times when their confidence in the country is rather reluctant, thus attracting substantial foreign investments from such companies as Chevron and Dow Chemical.
Daniel Servitje Montull CEO of Grupo Bimbo
56 years old, Mexican, he is a Master of Business Administration, MBA, and he was hired by Bimbo Group in 1981. In 1987 he entered the Group’s Board of Directors and, in 1997, he was appointed Director General. In 2013, Bimbo Group announced in the General Meeting of shareholders the resignation of Roberto Servitje Sendra as chairman of the Board of Directors and Daniel Servitje Montull took office.
Why is he penciled in as influential? He turned the company into the largest bakery of the world. The company presently sells nearly the triple of the figures it had when he was appointed Director General and it has gone global, with presence in over 19 countries, over 126 thousand collaborators and more than 50 thousand distribution channels.
Daniel Hajj Aboumrad CEO of América Móvil
49 years old, Mexican, he is a Master of Business Administration. In 1997 he was in charge of the head office of RadiomóvilDipsa (TelCel) and, in 2000, he was appointed CEO of America Movil, a part of the empire owned by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim and one of the main telephone service providers in Latin America.
Why is he labeled as influential? He made America Movil hold its position as the leading telephone service providing company in Latin America, not only because of the benefits it gives to its customers. In 2012 he avoided a millionaire fine against the company and that was a milestone in his career. Also in 2012, he took the company’s branding to the highest level when America Movil was included in the list of the 100 most valuable brands on the planet.
Benjamin Steinbruch CEO of National Iron & Steel Company
62 years old, Brazilian, he is a Master of Business Administration, specialized in Marketing and Finances. He has been the CEO of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional since 1995. Mr. Steinbruch had previously worked as Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer, among other managerial positions related to the opening of new companies. The executive is also the Superintendent Officer of Vicunha Siderurgia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banco Fibra.
Why is he described as influential? His presence in the company had been related to the search of new business opportunities, but after the privatization of the company in the 1990s, he took office in a time when the company was losing the equivalent to one million dollars a day. Nowadays, the conglomerate comprises one of the largest iron and steel companies in Latin America; it manages ports and railroads and stands as the second iron mining exporting company Brazil.
Paolo Rocca CEO of Techint
This 63 years old Italian-Argentinean executive graduated in Politic Sciences and has one Program for Management Development (PMD).
The grandson of Agostino Rocca, founder of the largest iron and steel company in Latin America, was climbing positions in the company since the very beginning, back in 1985. In 2001, he was in charge of the Argentinean multinational corporation, made up of six companies related to the production of steel, engineering for mining industry, fuel and gas; after the passing of his older brother.
Why is he penciled in as influential? Mr. Rocca is described as a great strategist, which has characterized his work. Under his leadership, Techint made a significant change in terms of human resources and marketing aspects. This is proven by the amount of acquisitions in a company that generates over 25 billion USD in annual sales.
Paula Santilli CEO of Pepsico México
This 48-year-old Argentinean professional graduated in Communication Sciences and Publicity. She has spent over 30 years working for companies that market food products for massive consumption. Mrs. Santilli has occupied managerial positions in Campbell Soup, Swift and Kellogg’s, and she was later in charge of PepsiCo Snack Foods Southern Cone (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). In 2008 she faced the challenge of leading the multinational company in Mexico, one of the countries that had been severely affected by the world crisis.
Why is she labeled as influential? In Argentina after the 2001 crisis, she successfully recovered the market share that had been lost by the company. Something similar happened after she took office at the Mexican subsidiary. Furthermore, Mrs. Santilli stands for gender diversity politics in the organizations.
Manoel Arlindo Zaroni Torres CEO of Tractebel
A Brazilian Electrical Engineer specialized in Management and Administration. Between 1976 and 1998 he worked for Furnas Centrais Elétricas and occupied different managerial and operational positions. In 1998 he joined Tractebel’s Board of Directors as Operations Director, until he became chairman of the company in 1999.
Why is he described as influential? He was a member of the Board of Directors in 1998, while he was the Operations Director of Gerasul. He had the stock market capitalization increased in US$ 14,000 million and offered an adjusted profitability per industry of 2,444 per cent.
José Antonio Fernández CEO of Fomento Económico Mexicano
61 years old, Mexican, Industrial Engineer and MBA. Between 1976 and 1991 he chaired such companies as Gamesa, Dreis & Krump, Cuprum, Grupo Visa and Oxxo; he was the sales vice president with Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma 1991 – 1993, and COO of the group in 1993 – 1994. Mr. Fernandez was appointed CEO of Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA) in January 1995, and chairman of the company’s Board of Directors in March 2001.
Why is he labeled as influential? Under his leadership the group acquired over 14 companies, including bottling plants, drugstores and dairy companies, stock participation in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines and Farmacias YZA, among others. In April 2013, the company achieved a milestone: it reached a historic record in the price of its shares, valued in 151.72 pesos on the Mexican Stock Market (BMV is the Spanish acronym).
Luisa García CEO of Llorente & Cuenca for the Andean Region
Born in Spain, but deeply rooted in Latin America, Mrs. Garcia graduated in Information Sciences, specialized in Advertising, PR and MBA. Her career began with the company in Madrid in 1999 and, in 2002, she founded the operation in Panama, which in four years became the first communication consultancy firm of the country and Central America. Between 2007 and 2013 she headed the office in Peru and she’s presently in charge of the Andean region (including offices in Lima, Bogota and Quito)
Why is she described as influential? Due to the above-mentioned elements she was ranked by Latin Business Chronicle among the 50 most influential businesswomen of Latin America in 2013 and, in 2014, she was given more awards: Executive of the Year in Latin America, Executive of the Year in Corporative Services and Woman of the Year, Communication category, in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Miguel Gomes Pereira Sarmiento Gutierrez, CEO of Lojas Americanas
Brazilian, Mechanic Engineer, economist, with Marketing studies and one OPM (Owner/President Management Program). Since 2001, he has headed the retail chain after having occupied other managerial positions in Operations, Finances and Logistics.
Why is he influential? He positioned the company as a giant of department stores and turned it into a market benchmark in Brazil, both offline and online. It commercializes over 500 thousand products in different categories. He has focused his work on a continuous customer attention strategy and omnipresent buying experience, which have been very successful.
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