Sheldon Lavin is the chairman and chief executive officer of multinational food processing company OSI Group. With over forty-three years’ experience in the food processing industry, Mr. Lavin is an able manager and a shrewd leader who has led the company to unparalleled growth during his tenure at the helm of the OSI Group. Suffice to say, his entry into the food processing industry was more by accident than by design. Mr. Lavin joined the OSI Group reluctantly, having built a successful and comfortable career as an investor and executive banker. So prolific was he in this line of work that he had already started his firm through which he helped other invest their wealth.
Sheldon Lavin’s entry into the food industry happened in 1970 when he helped the Otto & Sons company secure funding to build a meat processing plant. The Otto & Sons were the company which preceded the OSI Group. They had hoped to gain financing to open meat a processing plant which would make them the leading meat suppliers for the McDonald Corporation in the Mid-West. As the person that helped this relatively small company to secure the said funding through his firm, the bank insisted that he join the group as a partner. He was initially reluctant to agree to the idea, seeing that food processing was not his area of expertise. However, he figured that taking up a partnership position would help secure his investment and give more decision making power to ensure that the company was headed in the right direction.
Since he took over at the helm, Mr. Lavin has been able to transform the OSI Group from a small burger supplier whose only client was McDonalds, into a global supplier of food products working with food service and retail brands. The company employs over 20,000 people globally. Sheldon Lavin is most proud of the culture that the company has cultivated in all its employees which has been partly responsible for the success of the past few years. The family-oriented corporate culture has ensured little turnover, with most employees staying with the company for long and advancing organizational goals.
Under his stewardship, the OSI Group has grown into a multinational food processing company with presence in over 22 countries around the world. Further, it has been on a protracted growth trajectory that has seen it acquire some of the major players in the Chinese, Indian and Dutch food industry to claim a significant stake in each of those markets.