High-flyer in Peru

Taking off from Consulting

Nicolás Goldstein, MBA 03
CEO, LAN Perú, Lima, Peru


Nicolas Goldstein prizes nothing more than open dialogue with the small army of 4,000 men and women that he oversees as general manager of LAN Peru, a major subsidiary of LAN Airlines that operates a fleet of 32 planes in and out of Peru. Take a town hall meeting with 600 employees in December: Instead of making a presentation, Goldstein decided to use a talk-show format to promote conversation and let folks have some fun while voicing their opinions.

"Although I ultimately answer for anything and everything that happens with LAN Peru--from operations to HR to fleet maintenance to career advancement for our call center employees--I find that opening myself up to hearing my staff's ideas makes me a more effective leader," Goldstein says. "I have had a lot of experience to learn that everyone has something valuable to offer."

That experience includes serving as LAN's CEO of international operations for South America before he became CEO of LAN Peru last summer. "My previous title sounds much grander than the one I hold today, but I directly oversaw only the commercial and strategic aspects of the business. I didn't oversee operations, finance, or HR, and I had a staff of almost 100," says Goldstein. "I now define business domestically and operate our domestic, South American, and international flights." Following LAN's merger with Brazil's biggest airline, TAM, last year, he now manages TAM's operations in Peru, too.

Before joining LAN in 2009, Goldstein worked as an associate principal at McKinsey & Co., Accenture, and Volkswagen. Those positions took him all over South America, to the United States, and as far as Spain and Bangladesh, working and living in more than six countries.

When McKinsey offered to pay for his MBA, Goldstein saw it as opportunity he couldn't pass up, especially because he had his heart set on Berkeley. "I asked around the office where my colleagues had gone for their master's and I remember this one man had the biggest smile when he talked about the university," he says. "Berkeley afforded me incredible opportunities for growth on and off campus."

During his time in Berkeley, Goldstein taught business administration classes to undergrads and speech leadership to MBA students, worked as a Haas ambassador for international students, and landed a summer internship at Goldman Sachs.

"I learned there are a lot of ways to do business, with a lot of different people, and to enjoy the journey as much as the destination," Goldstein says. "It comes down to people. After all, that is why we are here."--Martin Haro

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