Ricardo Semler

Chairman and Non Executive Partner,
Semco Partners

Known around the globe for his innovative, employee-centric management style, Ricardo Semler is a true visionary who advises businesses on how they can significantly improve performance by restructuring relationships with their people. His presentations invariably spark creative and productive thinking about how to lead and manage. Ricardo Semler is president of Semco S/A, based in Brazil, and the author of two books: Maverick and The Seven-Day Weekend. Maverick has been published in 16 languages and sold over one million copies. The phenomenal success of the book demonstrates an eager interest in workable alternatives to conventional management wisdom. Hundreds of executives from other companies have visited Ricardo’s firm to study his success. Ricardo has been profiled in more than 200 magazines and newspapers, including a special edition of Time highlighting future world leaders. He was named one of the “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Semco’s Success Ricardo admits that his own company’s management agreements are not for everyone (managers determine their salaries, staff choose their bosses), but it is a success. His Brazilian-based firm’s revenues have grown from $35 million to $160 million in just six years, despite severe economic conditions. Semco is now a $400 million business with additional minority interests in companies that add up to $9 billion in market value.

Many innovative industries have been started in the last 5 years: ETH, BrasilAgro, Tarpon, Juritas and NGO. The Message Ricardo urges audiences to take a realistic look at what works, what’s possible, and what makes sense in today’s world, given our technologies, the rapid pace of change and the increasing failure of current practice to adapt. Technology that was supposed to make life easier — laptops, cell phones, e-mail, pagers — has stolen our free time instead and destroyed the traditional nine-to-five workday. Why, for instance, haven’t we learned to go golfing on Monday morning when we’ve learned to take our work home on Friday night?

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