The Lift Under Embraer's Wings

Sep 1, 2001

Maurício Botelho has transformed Brazil's regional aircraft maker from a money-losing dud into a profit-driven enterprise that has won the respect and support of the international markets. He is LatinFinance's CEO of the Year.

Embraer's small but stylish jets have become an unmistakable presence all over the world with their sleek lines and swept-back wings. It is a company that has become the pride of Brazil. When Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair visited the country in July, he was flown about the country in an Embraer jet and stopped off to visit the company's headquarters in the state of São Paulo.

The company is unique for its ability to design, develop and build high-technology products profitably. There are no similar cases anywhere in Latin America and few in the developing world as a whole. This is even more impressive bearing in mind that older, better-established European firms such as Fokker or Dornier, have had to drop out of the market, leaving the regional jet business to Embraer and Canada's Bombardier.

It has taken Embraer 32 years to become a world-class company...

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