April 14, 2024
How Alejandro Betancourt López Manages Success in Multiple Industries

Leading by Vision: How Alejandro Betancourt López Manages Success in Multiple Industries

How Alejandro Betancourt López Manages Success in Multiple Industries?

We tend to think of success as a transferable skill. A successful CEO in the tech industry would be just as successful in the automobile sector or running hospitals, etc. But history shows us that’s rarely true. Most top performers, it turns out, are only truly great in one niche.

Unless, of course, they’re Alejandro Betancourt López.

He’s one of the rare businessmen who’s found success across a variety of industries. Born in Venezuela and educated in Boston, Betancourt López has effected change in organizations he’s led, he’s picked winning stocks, and he’s made shrewd investment decisions across sectors as far-flung as fashion, energy, and transportation.

The most visible examples of otherwise ultra-successful people failing are within professional sports. Elite-level business professionals, investors, and moguls have all seen their hard-nosed expertise fall flat when it comes to building winning sports franchises.

Even skills that would seem extremely transferable often turn out to be anything but. Michael Jordan, one of the world’s greatest basketball players, performed poorly as the owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, guiding them to the worst season in league history.

The same thing happens in closely related business contexts. For example, Douglas Ivester possessed a keen mind for finance, which he used to help the Coca-Cola Company grow while he served as its chief financial officer for 12 years. But once he was promoted to CEO, Ivester had trouble navigating the new waters that came with the position. The extra burdens didn’t jibe with his skill set, and he stepped down after just three years.

Betancourt López bucked this common trend. How does he do it? It could be this philosophy: “There are plenty of great ideas out there, but there’s the factor that is a human factor. You could have many great ideas, but the execution is what that matters.”

To understand this, it’s helpful to peruse his resume.

Initial Success

Initial Success

Alejandro Betancourt López’s first taste of success came in the energy industry. Not long after finishing school, he was hired as an energy trader for London’s ICC-OEOC, where he acted as a commodities broker in Latin America. He found immediate success and next served as director for BCG, an energy company headquartered in his native Venezuela.

At this point, it would seem as if the totality of his career would be spent in the energy sector. He had successful jobs under his belt, a track record of success, a soaring net worth, and a Rolodex of important contacts across Europe and North America.

So it came as a surprise when he left the industry to try something completely different.

A Slight Change

Ready for a new challenge, Alejandro Betancourt López jumped from trading energy commodities to trading stocks. These skills might seem transferable, but there’s a reason the career arcs of stock brokers rarely begin in the oil business.

 Having worked to help businesses find the right commodities at the right price, Betancourt López had developed a keen understanding of what separates successful companies from the rest.

 While anyone can read an annual prospectus, his analysis of investments hinged on more than just raw data. Besides poring over numbers, he put great effort into assessing leadership teams.

 “I believe that management — the right professionals that take such ideas into something real and turn them into something very pragmatic and real — is what matters,” Alejandro Betancourt López said. “So even if the idea is great, if you don’t have the right people behind it, it will never happen. For me, the critical part of the whole equation is to have the right human factor behind this.”

 He added: “The most important thing is that they have drive, that they are workaholics, that they believe in what they’re doing,”

The idea gave his portfolio a different flair, one that relied on more than a sober accounting — and that proved a winning strategy. Today, he has a net worth of more than $2.6 billion.

But he wasn’t content to sit back and invest. He wanted to lead.

Making a Zag Toward Entrepreneurship

Making a Zag Toward Entrepreneurship

He soon got the chance to put his ideas into practice, taking the fledgling sunglasses company Hawkers to a global powerhouse as president and CEO. Under his leadership, he took the company from national success in Spain to an international sensation, thanks to spearheading a clever advertising campaign.

“It was cool, it was fresh, and we were doing something different than anybody else at the time, which is online social, or social media marketing,” he said. “And that approach totally disrupted the market in the way we penetrated the market. And I think that that innovation has built a huge brand that is today Hawkers.”

He’s also the founder of a ride-share service in Spain called Auro Travel that competes — and often outperforms — brands like Uber and Lyft within the country. The idea to start a ride-share service struck him as he read about the laws Spain was implementing to regulate the industry. He was the first to notice a quirk of the legislation, which allowed Auro Travel to buy up most of the limited licenses the government awarded to ride-share drivers. With control over most of the market, he built a mega-successful company.

Alejandro Betancourt López has managed to stay successful by developing a variety of skills — and ensuring that he never relied too much on any one idea. He never believed that one skill, such as marketing, would be the cure for every company. Instead, he used his business acumen to devise tailored routes to success in each of his endeavors. No two plans were alike — and that made all the difference.

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