Enrique Cueto set out to break the notion that the topsy-turvy
aviation industry only attracts masochists. At the helm of LAN,
he says he's done that. Almost.
Latin America's best-run airline, LAN, has marked its 10th straight year of profits. Enrique Cueto, LatinFinance's CEO of the Year, is the man who made it happen.
"Well, maybe there's still a little masochism," concedes
Cueto, who directs an anomaly, an international airline that
makes money. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 1997
and boasting stock prices that have risen almost vertically in
the past two years, Latin America's most profitable carrier has
become a model of how to do things right. While other airline
executives shuffled through bankruptcy papers, lobbied their
governments for bailouts and pleaded with unionized workers for
givebacks, Cueto led LAN to a record $102.9 million in pretax
income last year and is posting a money-making 2004, earning
the Chilean the CEO of the Year honor from LatinFinance.
LAN has never lost money since cautious Cueto took over a
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