Pedro Ferro is Chief Executive Officer for Fras-Le, a global manufacturer of friction materials for the heavy-duty / commercial vehicle markets. In the following Q&A, Pedro shares with us valuable insights on the topics of leadership and success.
TBR: What is your current role and area of responsibility?
PF: I am CEO of Fras-Le and Executive Officer at the Randon Companies. I am also on the Board of Directors for our two JV’s – Master (with Meritor) and Jost (with Jost Werk).
TBR: How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you?
PF: In most cases I believe I am a combination of a “pacesetter” and a “visionary” leader. It works for me because I enjoy change and working in dynamic environments, with greater cultural diversity.
TBR: What do you see as your biggest challenge right now?
PF: My biggest challenge is to build a truly global company out of Brazil, attracting the best people around the globe to join in the vision.
TBR: What do you look for when evaluating top talent?
PF: In order of priority: ethical behavior, readiness and intelligence, critical thinking ability and initiative.
TBR: What was your first job in industry?
PF: Applications Engineer at Cummins Engine Company
TBR: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at age 20?
PF: Join Apple or Google, :). Seriously; work harder at developing my global business network.
TBR: Name your favorite / recent book(s) you have read:
TBR: What has been the biggest contributor to your success at this point?
PF: The quality of the people I’ve been associated with coupled with the willingness to take on challenges around the world.
TBR: Tell us something that most people might not know about you or your organization.
PF: I am an avid fan of the 80/20-business improvement process and Fras-Le has embraced the methodology really well.
Founded in 1954, Fras-le produces friction materials. It is a global leader in its business of Safety in Motion Control. Fras-le was the first friction material manufacturer in Brazil to obtain certification with the ISO 9001 Standard and also has ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001and ISO TS 16949, confirming the company’s constant concern with quality, technology, and the environment. In its advanced Research and Development Center, one of the best equipped in the world, Fras-le has chemical, physical, and pilot laboratories that allow high performance products to be developed.
With factories in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), the United States (Alabama) and in China (Pinghu), distribution centers in Argentina, Europe, and the United States, and commercial operations in the United States, Chile, Germany, Mexico, United Aram Emirates, and South Africa, the company keeps a well-structured team to service its clients in over 80 countries on all of the continents where it operates.
With over 10 thousand benchmarks in the FRAS-LE and LONAFLEX brands, the company offers the consumer a full line of products that includes linings and pads for heavy duty vehicles, pads, linings, and shoes for light vehicles, clutch facings, pads, and shoes for motorcycles, pads for aircrafts, pads and shoes for trains and subways, molded and braided linings, and universal plates.