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Andy Freire (41) is an entrepreneur both in the business and social sector. After starting his career at Procter & Gamble, Andy co-founded and led Officenet (purchased by Staples in 2004), a company that revolutionized the industry of distribution (retail) of office supplies in Latin America raising over 50M USD (most of it after the Nasdaq 2000 crash) from investors including among others Goldman Sachs, GE Capital, George Soros, JP Morgan Chase, Warbug Pincus, KKR, THLee, Fleet-Boston Bank, GP Investimentos and Banco Santander. Andy led Officenet to grow organically from zero to over 80M USD in sales and almost 1,000 employees in a five year span. A case called “Officenet: how to make entrepreneurship work in Argentina” was written by Harvard Business School and taught at over 25 universities including the universities of Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown, Instituto de Empresa (Madrid) and Commercial University of Paris. Andy also co-founded Axialent where he served as Chairman and CEO until December 2011. Axialent is a consulting and corporate training firm that helps Fortune 500 firms align corporate culture and leadership behaviors with long term strategy and company values. Axialent has over twenty operations globally in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Axialent’s academic board includes Peter Senge, Ken Wilber and Fred Kofman.
When he was 18 years old, Andy co-created Initiative Foundation, an NGO focused on promoting leadership values among the Latin American youth. More than 10,000 students participated in Initiative Foundation events. Andy collaborated regularly as “expert entrepreneur” with CNN en Español. His awards include “Global Leader for Tomorrow” in 2000 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), “Latin American Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2001 by Endeavor Foundation, and “World Young Business Achiever” in 2002. Andy was also named in 2008 one of the 100 “Young Global Leaders of the World” by the WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
Andy has participated as guest professor or guest speaker at several universities including Stanford, Harvard, NotreDame, Wharton, and IE in Spain. Andy also serves as member of the Global Advisory Board of Harvard Business School and is one of the four global judges of the Dell Business Excellence Award. His book “Passion for Entrepreneurship – From Idea to Crude Reality” was published in Spanish and Portuguese becoming a best seller in several countries in Latin America (including #1 best selling business book in Argentina for five months in a row since publication).
Andy is the Chairman of Endeavor Foundation in Argentina and has been Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Argentina until 2012. He is also board member of the Steering Committee of the Young Global Leaders of the WEF and member of the Global Latin American Council of the WEF. Andy participated as investor and/or Board member in multiple start ups including Wanako (online gaming sold to Vivendi), Coffice (coffee service sold to Lavazza), Reed Argentina (trade-fairs), Restorando (online restaurant booking), The Mind Company (services off-shoring), Estrella limited (oilfield services company publicly traded in Toronto as EEN.V), Parque Austral (real estate).
Andy has a Licenciatura in Economics with honors magna cum laude from the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is an OPM (33) from Harvard Business School. Andy is married and has four children.
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