Jan. 19, 2024

Andres Caballero: Leading Uponor with Pragmatism and Passion  

by Alex Gross

Andres Caballero, president of Uponor North America, isn't your typical executive. His unique approach to leadership, rooted in his engineering background and Colombian upbringing, has propelled his personal success and Uponor to impressive heights. 

While an electrical engineer by trade, Caballero has leveraged his analytical skills to cultivate a growth mindset, leading both private and public companies with remarkable success. “I've always looked for creative ways to solve problems and advance people and businesses,” he says. “My engineering background instilled in me a focus on continuous improvement, which translates to a pragmatic approach: a clear strategy, optimized execution, and accountability.” 

Caballero’s “out-of-the-box” leadership style blossomed at Honeywell, where he was promoted four times in five years while managing diverse business units. This experience honed his skills and fostered a leadership style that inspires action and growth. 

Prior to Uponor, Caballero built his own software-as-a-service and consulting business. This firsthand experience with a small organization instilled in him the importance of treating each customer like they’re the only one you have. This philosophy permeates Uponor’s culture, which prioritizes treating both employees and customers like family, not just transactions. 

When Georg Fischer acquired Uponor in a major M&A deal, Caballero saw it as an opportunity to accelerate the company’s growth and value-creation strategy. He emphasized finding a partner that aligned with the organization’s core values. “We wanted to continue highlighting the company's value, so we needed to stay focused,” he explains. “With Georg Fischer, we found a great cultural fit with clear synergies. Our strategy remains essentially the same, but being part of Georg Fischer will undoubtedly accelerate it.” 

The cultural fit between Georg Fischer and Uponor is evident as there have been minimal post-acquisition changes. Both companies share a mission of fostering a high-performance culture that prioritizes growth, innovation, and margin expansion. This combined powerhouse is poised to dominate the market. 

Uponor’s continuous recognition as an employer of choice is a testament to its flexible, people-first culture, which contributes to both local and international accreditations and project wins. “I believe in taking a pragmatic approach to strategy execution, optimizing processes, and holding people accountable for their success,” says Caballero. 

His lean leadership style ensures Uponor operates at optimal efficiency. The expanded margins following the Georg Fischer acquisition are just one indicator of this efficiency, which will be further amplified by their combined forces. 

Caballero’s passion for connecting with people is palpable. “Whether it’s employees, customers, communities, government associations, or regulatory bodies, I love hearing their ideas and truly listening,” he says. 

The lessons learned in his Colombian upbringing continue to fuel Caballero’s desire to learn, strategize, and execute with rigor. This unique combination of curiosity and focus is one of the reasons Uponor sought him out. It’s also why he’s poised to contribute significantly to the company’s continued success and its goal of building a high-performance culture that fosters growth, innovation, and expansion into new markets. 

Read more in Hispanic Executive.