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Professional Career Insights and Suggestions

Event Date: March 29, 2012
Speaker: Juan Ernesto de Bedout
Speaker Affiliation: Group President, Latin American Operations, Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Sponsor: ECE Graduate Seminar Series
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: EE 170


Juan Ernesto de Bedout is group president of Latin American operations for Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies®, Kleenex®, and Scott®, where he is responsible for the business units in 22 Central, South American, and Caribbean countries. He joined the company in 1981 as a managing director, and following subsequent roles as general manager, vice president, and president, he was elected to his current position in 1999.

Mr. de Bedout is also a director of VF Corporation, maker of lifestyle brands such as Nautica®, Wrangler®, and The North Face®. Additionally, he is a member of the Purdue Industrial Engineering and the Penn State Enterprise Integration industry advisory boards.

Born in Medellin, Colombia, he earned his industrial engineering degrees from Purdue and received the university’s Outstanding Industrial Engineer (1998), Distinguished Engineering Alumnus (2000), and Engineering Alumni Association (2002) awards. One of his proudest achievements is the business he built in a relatively short timeframe in mostly unchartered Kimberly-Clark territory. He led numerous expansions, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances, reaching mostly number one and two market shares in the 22 countries. Blending multiple entrepreneurship styles to form a winning culture, one third of the companies are ranked among the top four Best Employers or Great Places to Work.

On a personal front, his two sons and nephew are all engineers, two of them with Purdue PhD degrees completed or in progress. They represent his greatest pride. Mr. de Bedout recommends that young engineers start with a dream. A roadmap to reach that dream, hard work, perseverance, and passion will take care of the rest.