Ricardo Miguelañez. Agricultural Engineer. @rmiguelanez
The main focus of Who's Who in this edition is a managing director who recently took his post. Barcelona-native Sergio Elizalde took on the position of head of operations at Hero, responsible for Southern Europe, in January. As a result, he oversees Italy and Portugal as well as Spain.
He is an interesting person, and the other day I had the pleasure of meeting him. I found him to be an intrepid executive, making statements about how companies needed to take action without expecting anything from the public administrations. It may seem like a trivial issue but it's not; many companies wait around for the government to step in.
He also has extensive training. Elizalde has a Law degree from the University of Barcelona and an MBA from ESADE Business School. He began studying German in Barcelona, and speaks six languages fluently.
His professional experience began 15 years ago when he took a job with Grupo Puig. From there he moved on to Reckitt Benckiser, at their headquarters in Slough (UK). Later he worked for Sara Lee Corporation and PepsiCo Foods International.
In 2010 he joined Hero, a job he balances with his family life, as the father of five. In August of that year he became Marketing Director, and in July of 2011 he was named Managing Director of Hero Spain and Portugal. His newest position, assigned in January, increases his responsibilities and, outside work, he likes to read, run, and vacation in the mountains. Elizalde is also a member of BBVA's Regional Advisory Council and of the Association for Management Progress (APD).
Hero, leaders since 1886
129 years of history, no more no less. The company adopted the name Hero, the brand resulting from its two founders joining forces, Henckell and Roth, in 1910. It's one of the most well-known and recognizable food brands in the world. Baby food and marmalades are its hallmark.
The company is based in Lenzburg, Switzerland, and operates in 15 countries, exporting its products around the world. Hero Spain is based in the municipality of Alcantarilla (Murcia), where it's been known as Hero Alcantarilla since 1922. At that time, the subsidiary's task was to provide the company's other plants with top-notch fresh fruits and vegetables from Murcia. It currently produces more than 200 million product units.
It added a new line to its range of jams, syrups and ready-made meals in 1985: Hero Baby.
Elizalde's appointment is part of the group's strategy to unify markets to enhance efficiency and competitiveness. Moreover, it reflects the importance of Hero Spain within the Swiss conglomerate. Congratulations.