Caso bimbo

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REV: FEBRUARY 23, 2009


Grupo Bimbo: Growth and Social Responsibility
The most important thing in a firm is its people, because investors give what they have, but people give what they are. — Lorenzo Servitje, Grupo Bimbo founding partner By 2008, Grupo Bimbo was the leading baking company in the Americas and one of the largest in theworld. It had annual sales of over $7.4 billion, more than 100 brands and more than 97,000 worldwide associates—as Bimbo liked to call its employees. It manufactured more than 5,000 SKUs (stock keeping units) from 83 plants located in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Bimbo distributed its products to more than 1 million sales outlets in 18 countries. Each of thesepoints of sale was visited by more than 36,000 route salespersons. Its products ranged from sliced bread, buns, cookies, snack cakes, pastries, sweet baked goods, packaged food, tortillas, salted snacks, confectionary goods and goat milk sweet or “cajeta,” among other products. Bimbo was the largest Latin American-based food company and the second largest bread company in the world. For eightyears in a row, Bimbo had been honored with the Socially Responsible Enterprise Award from CEMEFI, the Mexican Center for Philanthropy. Moreover, Grupo Bimbo was ranked in the 9th position of the Reputation Institute for best corporate reputation in the world.1 The next Mexican ranked firms in the study were Grupo Modelo and Cemex in the 112th and 119th spot, respectively. Grupo Bimbo had setambitious growth objectives beyond 2010. It wanted to become the world leader in the baking industry and one of the best food companies in the world. In order to achieve those objectives, it had embarked on an aggressive program of acquisitions in overseas markets, starting with the United States across the border, and going all the way to China. “Even as we pursue an ambitious growth agenda, we cannotforget our core values and who we are as a company,” stated Don Lorenzo Servitje, the now retired 90 year old founder of the company. As Figure 1 shows, Bimbo captured its core values along the seven attributes of passion, profitability, effectiveness, team work, trust, quality, with the “person” coming at the center. Under its second CEO, Roberto Servitje (now chairman of the board) and its currentCEO, Daniel Servitje, the company had grown spectacularly and gained an international footprint. See Exhibit 1 for its revenue growth. “Yes, indeed we have grown our business, not at the cost of our responsibility to society, but because of our investments in it. Going forward, however, we are a far more complex company than the one founded and

1“The World’s Most Respected Companies 2008: astudy of corporate reputations in 27 countries,” Reputation Institute, Global results, 2008. ____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________ Professor V. Kasturi Rangan and Research Associate Regina Garcia-Cuellar prepared this case. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serveas endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright © 2009 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to This publication may not be digitized, photocopied, orotherwise reproduced, posted, or transmitted, without the permission of Harvard Business School.


Grupo Bimbo: Growth and Social Responsibility

shepherded by my father and uncle, and yet we have to ensure that our values and strategy are in alignment,” asserted Daniel Servitje. Figure 1


Grupo Bimbo. (In the figure above, the expression “efforts and illusions” under...
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