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Captured drug lord a master of supply chain management

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'el Chapo Guzman', is escorted by marines as he is presented to the press on February 22, 2014 in Mexico City.

With the capture of the drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera over the weekend in Mazatlan, so ends the reign of one of the most successful drug traffickers of all time. It was his master of supply chain management that made him a success in the underground drug economy.

Tim Fernholz, economics writer for Quartz, compares El Chapo to Steve Jobs: 

"His life’s work has been to build the Sinaloa cartel into the world’s most efficient drug business, with billion-dollar revenues to rival Western blue-chip companies; he earned comparisons to CEOs for mastering the art of supply chain management, exploiting the massive demand for illegal drugs in the United States and Europe. …

"But it’s precisely this level of sophistication that has experts predicting the Sinaloa cartel will survive its mastermind’s detention; if Guzman is the Steve Jobs of coke, he probably groomed a Tim Cook to take his place."

Click on the audio player above to hear more.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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