MEXICO CITY – The completion of major projects and “a deep desire to do good” rather than achieving material success are what drove Don Lorenzo Servitje throughout his 98-year life, said his son Daniel Servitje, chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V.
Daniel Servitje’s comments were part of a letter sent to Bimbo employees Feb. 3 following the death earlier that day of Don Lorenzo Servitje, a founder of Bimbo. In the letter, Daniel Servitje shared memories of and lessons from his father. A translation of the letter follows:
I would like to share with you that today, at 4:00 in the morning, my father, Don Lorenzo Servitje, passed away at 98 years old. He was one of the founders of this great company, Grupo Bimbo. I thank God because he lived a great life and left a valuable legacy.
As the youngest of eight children, I was fortunate to be raised by a very experienced father. Maybe that is why I had less discipline and more conversation, which allowed me to form my own ideas and have a one-on-one relationship with my father.
He was a man of great and silent virtues, of deep intelligence and practicality. He had clear ideas, discipline, an enormous capability to work, strong values and deep spirituality.
He invariably preached through his example, and he was tenacious and consistent. He was for me, as well as for many others, my mentor and my teacher. From him I learned to find in dialogue the opportunity to delve into the truth and to adapt to changing times. I think I inherited his inexhaustible desire to learn and to question and propose.
I remember that when we talked, I was captivated by the pulsating glow in his eyes as he raised his arms in excitement when telling one of his stories or when sharing the progress of his many projects. He was passionate and restless and very persistent.
He was never interested in material things or in having the spotlight or getting applause; huge projects were what truly appealed to him, as well as a deep desire to do good.
He felt a profound love for his country. Many of the things he undertook in his life were done with Mexico in mind, with a desire to contribute to the growth and full development of his nation and especially of those most in need.
I think we were very fortunate to have him with us for so many years. He was certainly a leader who inspired us and taught us:
- To give everything you can give in this life and to live guided by the commitment to your ideals;
- To be permanently dissatisfied with what has been achieved and with reality;
- To be humble and realistic;
- To be consistent with thoughts, words and actions;
- To always treat people as human beings, never as instruments;
- To spend time with the people you love, to laugh and to enjoy time with others; and
- To see work as a mission, a passion, an adventure, not a burden.
I once asked him for his advice on being successful and he said: Nothing valuable can be achieved in life without effort, sacrifice and risk. That has been one of the greatest lessons I have learned, and for me, keeping this always in mind is the best way to honor and celebrate his life.
May he rest in peace.
C.e.o., Grupo Bimbo