Episode 11: Ricardo Semler- biography
São Paulo, Brazil
Ricardo Semler's company, Semco, manufactures pumps, high volume
dishwashers, cooling units for air conditioners. It does all this
in the difficult economic conditions of Brazil.
In his book 'Maverick', Ricardo describes how he took over as
chief executive of the company from his father at the beginning
of the eighties, when he himself was not yet twenty, straight out
He started out by doing things the traditional way, wielding
the corporate axe to cut a failing organization into
shape. He ran the company himself, from the top, with tight disciplines
and controls. The stress he created was enormous.
Semler himself was being physically destroyed by the workaholic
lifestyle he had to adopt. Something had to give. And
it did! Semler's sickness forced him to make a dramatic change
to his work patterns, more than that, he had to rethink his whole
way of managing the business.
Ricardo has been voted Brazil's Leader of the Year and Latin American
Businessman of the Year and has served as Vice President of the
Federation of Industries of Brazil.
'Managing Without Managers', Harvard Business Review, 1999
'Maverick', Warner Books, 1993
'Why My Former Employees Still Work for Me', Harvard Business
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