Marcelino De Santiago, Hope Global president and chief operating officer

WORLDWIDE LEADER: Hope Global President and Chief Operating Officer Marcelino De Santiago, among other roles, is working to increase the skills of his workforce, exploring artificial intelligence and establishing a data center in Mexico for data recovery in case of natural disasters. 
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
WORLDWIDE LEADER: Hope Global President and Chief Operating Officer Marcelino De Santiago, among other roles, is working to increase the skills of his workforce, exploring artificial intelligence and establishing a data center in Mexico for data recovery in case of natural disasters. 
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PBN Leaders & Achievers 2023
Marcelino De Santiago
Hope Global

President and chief operating officer


TO MARCELINO DE SANTIAGO, president and chief operating officer of Hope Global, leadership is simply the art of clarifying plans, purpose and authority.

“A great leader inspires confidence in other people and moves them to take the actions that matter most,” he said.

Hope Global is a Cumberland-based international manufacturer of automotive and retail textile products. Ninety percent of the company’s products are related to automotive interiors and 10% to apparel. The firm manufactures shoelaces for the military and prominent shoe companies such as Timberland, Red Wing and New Balance. It employs 1,100 people and operates seven global plants across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

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Fluent in English and Spanish, De Santiago emphasizes building high-performance teams comprised of people who bring diverse perspectives and experiences to work. It’s his job to ensure the company’s goals are met and a plan is in place to protect against financial, supply chain, cybersecurity, and environmental health and safety risks.

Some of his recent efforts include changing business and operational strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on lean manufacturing and global compliance of all health and safety policies – the company is International Automotive Task Force- and ISO14001-certified. De Santiago is increasing the skills of his workforce, exploring artificial intelligence and establishing a data center in Mexico for data recovery in case of natural disasters.

De Santiago is also incorporating electronic data interchange to activate sales or requests to buy materials and bringing solar energy to Hope Global’s Mexico campus. His dedication to sustainability shines at the Cumberland plant, where the team is recycling resins and using the materials to produce its newly launched line of pet products. De Santiago’s efforts are paying off; he projects Hope Global’s 2023 revenue will be approximately $200 million.

A self-described “situational leader,” De Santiago’s quick evaluation of a problem tells him if he must be with his team, leave them alone or use a combination approach. “I have a great team, which means that usually the issues that reach my desk are complicated matters,” De Santiago said.

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