MAN OF THE YEAR: Leading Mexico's Global Champion

Mar 3, 2010

Brazilian CEOs get all the attention but a quiet Mexican manager obsessive about quality has created a true global champion. Bimbo CEO Daniel Servitje is our Man of the Year.

by James Crombie

After last year’s multiple beatings, Mexico has fallen out of favor with investors. Former corporate favorites like Cemex were pushed over the edge by poor liability management and explosive derivatives bets, while the sovereign suffered recession, swine flu and drug wars.

However, one corporate name continues to shine, churning out a recession-proof staple product while building its empire into strategic new markets. Mexico-based multinational baker Grupo Bimbo has its dogged and down-to-earth CEO Daniel Servitje to thank for its steady rise. Servitje is the first Mexican corporate leader to win the coveted LatinFinance Man of the Year prize. "He’s really grown Bimbo into the premier global baker," says Palden Namgyal, senior managing director at Atlas Advisors, which advised Bimbo on the late 2008 purchase of Weston Foods’ Eastern US assets. "They are probably the closest thing to a global champion that exists in Mexico," adds...

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