Óscar Vela Nebot is Chief Executive Officer of Areas, a global leader in Food & Beverage and Travel Retail, based in Barcelona. The company serves 350 million customers each year in more than 1,800 restaurants and convenience stores at airports, highways and railway stations in 10 countries in Europe and America.
A graduate in Business and Market Research and Techniques (both degrees from the University of Barcelona), Óscar has extensive experience as a CEO in retail and food businesses, from publicly traded companies and family enterprises, to private equity firms.
He began his career in 1990 at Nutrexpa, a leading Spanish food company, where he held various positions in the planning and management control departments, and on the staff of the board of directors.
After 7 years at Nutrexpa, he joined Unichips (Milan), the leading snacks company in Italy and owner of brands such as San Carlo. There, he spent four years as the International Director of Operations.
At this point in his career, Óscar became the CEO – Venture Manager of Nazca, a Spanish private equity fund, acquiring the Lizarrán chain of tapas restaurants. In this period, Lizarrán became the world leader in tapas, experiencing strong growth and expanding into countries such as Portugal, Italy, France, Mexico and the United States. The fund’s divestment was one of the most successful in the sector. Since then he has had an ongoing collaboration with the private equity fund, taking positions on the Nazca advisory board and the boards of some of the fund’s investee companies.
In 2009 Óscar joined Areas, where he has progressively scaled the positions of CEO of Iberia, CEO of Iberia and Latam, and finally CEO Worldwide. In this period Areas has consolidated its position as the world’s third largest operator, enjoying strong leadership in Europe and making great inroads in America. The company stands out in the industry for its good reputation, attractive brand portfolio and operational excellence.
Today, Areas runs operations at such landmark locations as the airports of Los Angeles, Charles de Gaulle, Orly, Malpensa, Linate, Atlanta, Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and the Florida Turnpike, among many more.