Oscar Vela succeeds Pedro Fontana who contributed to making Areas a global reference in the food & beverage and travel retail industries, and helped grow its activities in 14 countries around the world. With this appointment, Pedro Fontana passes the baton to his closest collaborator of the past decade.
Pedro Fontana joined Areas in 1998 as a member of the Board of Directors and later became Chief Executive. Since then, he has overseen a process of deep transformation and restructuration for the company. After Elior Group acquired Areas, Pedro Fontana became CEO of concession catering worldwide for Elior Group in August 2015. “On behalf of Elior Group, I want to thank Pedro Fontana for his singular dedication in raising the company to the leadership positions it now occupies. I am convinced that Oscar will sustain this high performance level in his management of the Areas teams worldwide,” said Philippe Guillemot, CEO of Elior Group.
Oscar Vela joined Areas in 2009 to hold the position of CEO Spain & Portugal and Latin America, which includes all the food & beverage and travel retail business in the airports, motorway service plazas and railway stations markets in Spain, Portugal, Chile, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
Aged 51, Oscar Vela holds a degree in Business and Market Techniques and Research. He began his professional career in 1990 at Nutrexpa, a leading group in the Spanish food industry, where he held several positions with duties linked to the Board of Directors and the Planning and Control department. In 1997, he took on a new challenge with Italian snacking firm Unichips where he held the position of International Director of Operations in Milan for four years. Maintaining his connection with the world of nutrition, in 2001 he acquired the Lizarrán tapas and appetizers restaurant chain, through private equity firm Nazca. Over the next eight years, he fulfilled his goal of converting the small local chain into the world's tapas leader, with a presence in countries such as the USA, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Portugal.