OSI Group is internationally known as a leading food provider company, with a growth history spanning over a century. The company started out as a retail meat supplier in Chicago, transformed into a wholesale fresh meat supplier, and developed into a prominent player in the food processing industry. But the company’s growth is a result of strong leadership foundation, notably, from the CEO Sheldon Lavin.
The Entrance of Lavin into OSI Group
Lavin started associating with OSI Industries in 1975 as a partner. As the owners – Arthur Kolschowsky and Harry Kolschowsky – needed to retire from active leadership roles. This was also an opportune time for Lavin’s entrance into the company – it required a structured leadership model to spearhead its global growth vision. Consequently, Sheldon Lavin assumed the roles of CEO and Chairman of OSI Group in the 1980’s; he is still the CEO presently.
Early Growth of OSI under Lavin
Since 1909 when it was founded, Otto & Sons had multiplied. In the mid-century, it became the sole supplier of fresh meat to McDonald’s restaurant chains. It needed to expand its reach and assume an international appeal, leading to rebranding from Otto & Sons to OSI Group. The global growth vision was the starting implementation for Sheldon Lavin as he joined the business.
As the CEO, Lavin steered the company toward opening branches in Austria, Taiwan, Brazil, Spain, and Germany. Later on, it expanded its operations to Mexico, Philippines, Poland, and China. By 2015, it had opened additional branches in the US other than the original International Headquarters in Aurora Illinois.
Diversification and Acquisitions
During Lavin’s tenure at OSI, the company has diversified its business focus – opening poultry services in various countries. The first acquisition was in 2002 when OSI started focusing on China’s fresh produce sector. This was followed by Australian acquisition making OSI a player in Australia’s beef market. Similarly, OSI opened a Japan’s beef production business in 2010 and expanded its operations to areas like Canada and India.
Among the prominent acquisitions engineered by Sheldon Lavin include the Tyson, Baho Food Controlling in the Netherlands, Flagship Europe in the UK, and the Hynek Schlachthof in German. Lavin’s growth strategy has seen the company grow to over 20,000 employees.
About Sheldon Lavin: inspirery.com/sheldon-lavin/