Marcelo Villagran, who has successfully run Bata India since the beginning of 2005, is moving to Mexico to act as group managing director of Bata Emerging Markets for Latin America. In this region, Bata operates about 650 stores located in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
Rajiv Gopalakrishnan, who has been overseeing Bata's business in Bangladesh and Thailand, is taking over his place at Bata India. Villagran is a veteran of the Bata group. He started off as country manager in Chile some 30 years ago. He then moved to Bata's former head office in Toronto to serve as vice president of marketing for the group. Before his latest assignment in India, he ran Bata operations in Colombia and Singapore.
In turn, Villagran is taking the place of Justo Fuentes, who is moving from Latin America to Asia to run the so-called Big East region for Bata, encompassing China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. That position has been held until recently by Marcello Pace, an Italian executive who has been appointed president of Bata's new Global Brands Division, based in Singapore.