Welcome to Glamour's new weekly column, How I Got My Job, featuring one woman with an amazing job, and the real route to get it. Looking for career inspo? For this week's instalment, producer and seller of eyewear Luisa Delgado shares her CV...
Who? Luisa Delgado, 49.
What? CEO of Safilo Group, the world's second largest optical company. It produces and sells glasses for designers including Celine, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs.
1984-1987: BA (Hons) Law, University of Geneva,
I grew up in a small village, dreaming of becoming a diplomat. Knowing languages would be important, I spoke five by 18. I hoped a degree in law would springboard me into that world, but after finishing my Masters in Law at the University of London (1987-1988), my interest switched to a career in business.
1989-1990: Postgraduate Diploma in European Studies, Lusiada University, Lisbon, Portugal
On holiday in Portugal, I met my husband. We married a few months later and, after taking a Portuguese course, I started my diploma. It helped me understand about Europe – essential for business.
1991-1992: Recruiting, Training and Employee Communications Manager, Procter & Gamble, Lisbon, Portugal
After graduating, I was offered a job in HR at Procter & Gamble’s Portuguese start-up. P&G moves employees around every 18 months to develop talent, so my next role (1992-1994) was managing a bleach factory, before moving into the role of Country HR manager for two years.
1996-1998: UK HR Manager, Procter & Gamble, Geneva
The HQ of P&G were in Newcastle, and while the job was the logical next step, it was dif cult because my husband was in Portugal. We travelled to London to see each other at weekends. He continued commuting when I moved to Brussels
to become Regional Organisational Manager, a role focusing on design strategy and global brand management.
2000-2007: HR VP, Western Europe, Procter & Gamble, Geneva
This was a big job involving overseeing business performance management and HR infrastructure. I was overwhelmed when I returned to it after having my daughter in 2001 – I could no longer work 15-hour days and be the perfect manager. Meditation helped me see the bigger picture – P&G sells detergent. It’s important, but it’s not world peace.
2007-2012: Local CEO of Procter & Gamble Nordic, Stockholm
It was a huge compliment to be offered this job. My challenge was increasing P&G’s share in the Nordic market. One of our biggest successes was Pampers nappies. A competitor was outselling us, so we changed tack to appeal to the emotional side of consumers.
2012-2013: Executive Board Member in charge of HR, SAP, Walldorf, Germany
I wasn’t planning to leave P&G, but when I accepted a role as a non- executive director at The IKEA Group, it got me thinking about opportunities. After approaching headhunters, I was offered a job in HR with German software company SAP. One of the most rewarding things was helping set up a programme called Talent With Autism.
2013 - present: CEO Safilo Group and Safilo SpA, Padua, Italy
I was already a non-executive director at Sa lo and loved its history, but hesitated when they offered
me the job of CEO. I worried people would think I’d been red if I left SAP so soon. But I’ve never regretted my decision. I love my job.
Luisa's Life Lessons
- Never shy away from mission impossible. Challenges form you and make you a great leader.
- The best managers aren’t necessarily the most academic... but those who show emotional
intelligence and empathy.
- Approach every job with humility and take time to consider problems. Fast decision making doesn't necessarily equal effective decision making.