Roberto M. Cañizares, BS ‘71, MBA ‘74
Rob Cañizares' leadership experience in successfully building and transforming businesses around the world span more than two decades. In senior executive roles leading their successful globalization, he focused the formulation & implementation of strategy, and on building, coaching and developing multinational organizations.
In this Jubilant stage of his career, he advises and mentors founders of entrepreneurial companies, lectures on management, organizational transformation and coaching, serves on the board of the Emerging Markets Institute and the Advisory Board of Cornell University's Johnson School of Management, serves as a mentor at the McGovern Incubator, and is a board member.of the Craigielea Education Foundation, among others.
At the end of 2011 he retired from the position of President, MSA International. Rob joined MSA Safety Inc. (a NYSE traded company) in January 2003 and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, the International business of MSA tripled, accelerating its global presence by building sales, marketing, manufacturing and engineering facilities in emerging markets. Spanning over 40 operating companies outside the United States, it accounts for over 55% of the company.
Before joining MSA, Rob’s worked 28 years at Trane, the air conditioning company of American Standard (a Fortune 150 company), where his early career developed in product and marketing management, distribution logistics, sales management, and strategic planning. His general management responsibilities began in 1987 in Asia and the Americas, becoming a corporate officer of America Standard Companies in 1990. In the mid nineties he moved to Hong Kong to head Trane's organization in Asia. Under his growth-focused leadership Trane's business grew ten-fold by starting national companies that overtook the leading market positions in the main countries of Asia. This half-billion dollar business of integrated companies included seven manufacturing plants in the Asia-Pacific region, the two largest of which were built in China. He became Trane’s Senior VP of International Applied Systems in 1997 and later moved to the Netherlands as Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Service in 1999.
Born in Colombia and happily married for more than 40 years, Rob met his wife Gail at Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in Engineering & Applied Physics (BS’71) and a master's degree in business administration (MBA’74). Selected for a scholarship in the Cornell-Louvain exchange program, he also earned a master's degree in applied economics from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (1973). A global citizen, Rob and his wife have lived and worked in four continents and speak four languages fluently. His outside interests include tennis, architecture & design, wine appreciation (he is a Chevalier of the Confrérie du Tastevin, in Burgundy), as well as travel to discover foreign cultures and languages.