Billionaire boss Daniel Servitje’s Bimbo bakery business has taken the US market by storm over the last decade.
The president and CEO of Mexican bakery Bimbo, the world’s largest baked goods manufacturer, Daniel Servitje began working for the company, co-founded by his father and uncle, in 1982 when he was just 23. Building on the success of the previous generation, Servitje is responsible for Bimbo’s expansion into the US, Europe and Asia.
Born in Mexico City in 1959, Servitje earned an MBA from Stanford University and entered the family business in 1982, becoming CEO of Grupo Bimbo in 2007, and president and CEO in 2013.
"Bimbo operates in 33 countries and has an annual turnover in excess of $15 billion"
By 2017, when his father Lorenzo Servitje, who had co-founded Bimbo in 1945, died at the age of 98, the company had acquired more than 100 brands in 22 countries and become the world’s largest bakery company, with 171 production facilities across the globe.
In 2002 Servitje began the company’s expansion into the US market, began with a billon dollar spending spree. Among the brands Bimbo has acquired are George Weston, Sara Lee and Bays English Muffins in the US, Nutrella in Brazil, Vachon and Stonemill in Canada, Panico in Spain and Portugal, El Paisa in Colombia and Mankattan in China. With its entry into Kazakhstan in 2020, Bimbo now operates in 33 countries and has an annual turnover in excess of $15 billion.
The group’s low profile saw Bimbo labelled ‘the biggest company you have never heard of’. In order to change that, Servitje signed off on a number of high-profile sponsorships, including becoming the shirt sponsor of the expansion Philadelphia Union MLS team in 2011, a business partnership that has endured over the past decade despite the negative connotations of the word ‘bimbo’ in the English language.
And Covid-19 has not put the breaks on the baking giant’s conquest of the US market either. Grupo Bimbo experienced a hamburger and hot dog bun year on year sales-surge of more than 21% in the first half of 2020.