Marcio Ribaldo, a leader of two Brazilian plastics trade associations, has resigned from his management position at Oriente Maquinas e Equipamentos Ltda., a domestic manufacturer of injection molding machines.
Oriente, with annual sales of about $20 million, has gained a high level of visibility in North America because of its year-old agreement with Autojectors Inc., an Indiana manufacturer of insert molding machines. Oriente is now selling U.S.-made Autojectors presses in Latin America. Longer-term, Oriente could assemble Autojectors machines.
Contacted last week, Ribaldo said he feels that management of the family-owned machinery maker needs to evolve to meet challenges posed by Brazil's more-open borders. He confirmed his resignation late last month from the post as director of commercial sales, administration, finance and service. Although Ribaldo no longer will be involved in running the company, he said he and his wife, Nair Stein Ribaldo, will retain an ownership stake. He said his wife no longer is part of Oriente's management.
Oriente ownership is split among three families and a Mexican businessman. Oriente employs about 220 at a main factory in Artur Nogueira, north of SÃo Paulo, Brazil.
Ribaldo said management now is unwieldy because too many people run the company.
But Raphael Miciele Filho, Oriente's executive director, said the company has changed.
``We are trying to be a professionally oriented company, even though this is a family company,'' he said in a faxed response to questions.
Ribaldo was the point man for the Oriente/Autojectors agreement. Filho said Oriente is reviewing the deal.
``It's really too soon to tell,'' Autojectors President Bill Carteaux said. ``Obviously, we have some concerns because M rcio has been leading the charge. He was our main contact. The real driving force behind this has been Marcio and myself.''
Autojectors is based in Avilla, Ind.
In Brazil, Ribaldo is president of the National Institute of Plastics (Instituto Nacional do Pl stico, or INP), an association that supports plastics education. He also serves as a vice president of ABIMAQ, the Brazil Association of Machinery and Equipment Industries (Associacão Brasileira da industria de M quinas e Equipamentos).
Ribaldo, 47, plans to remain in plastics. He said he worked at Oriente for 18 years, and is the first company executive to push for change.
``In my opinion, an old family company has to change to a professional company because the market is asking for it,'' Ribaldo said. ``A family company has no place in the future.''
But Filho said changes are under way. The company has beefed up its business in Mexico, where it has sold 700 machines, he said.
``I can guarantee you ... that Oriente will be a new company in the near future,'' Filho said.