- Former CEO, Aracruz Celulose (Pulp and Paper)
Born Oslo, Norway, 1923. MBA, Harvard Business School (1948).
“[W]e managed to build a special port in the country. Part of the government… said, ‘There are sufficient ports …’ But I got it through … it was one of the bases for the success of Aracruz. ”
Erling Lorentzen relates his experience growing up in Norway as part of family of shipping magnates and industrialists, his service during World War II, his educational experience at Harvard Business School, his marriage into the Norwegian royal family, and his eventual move to Brazil in 1953. There, he pursued a career in the petroleum industry and in shipping. In 1968, he founded the Aracruz Celulose company, which became a massive manufacturer of pulp and paper. Lorentzen oversaw the construction of the largest pulp mill in Brazil and the acquisition of large forestry operations. He describes the difficulty of growing the business amid periods of rapid inflation, the challenges of raising money overseas (including by becoming the first Brazilian company listed on New York Stock Exchange), and by facing and confronting issues of sustainability.