Interview with Núria Cabutí, CEO, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
“I was deeply impressed by the level of engagement of our staff members who, working from home, have strived to be more innovative and look for imaginative ways of overcoming the obstacles they were faced with day to day.”
What have been your biggest learnings from COVID-19?
The technological transformation has accelerated as a result of the spread of COVID-19, and we have been able to be flexible and agile. I was deeply impressed by the level of engagement of our staff members, who, working from home, have strived to be more innovative and look for imaginative ways of overcoming the obstacles they were faced with day to day. Despite being physically estranged from the different teams, I felt closer to them than ever. Funnily enough, being separated strengthened the bonds that hold us together at all levels, but particularly within the management team.
What has inspired you during this time?
I’ve been inspired by the fact that people have devoted more time to reading and to reflecting, and that our books have given us access to people’s homes, inspiring them and leaving our mark on society. I feel immensely proud and fortunate to be able to work in this sector at the present time.
What are some challenges you, personally as CEO, and your local territory have been facing?
In our case, we have been particularly affected by the negative impact that the pandemic and the long periods of lockdown have had on Latin American markets. Recovery of our business in those markets will be a lengthy process, as this crisis is severely increasing inequality in those countries.
Do you have any advice for our global colleagues?
Knowledge, digitization, and sustainability will be the most important tools to drive the real economy, and we, as a publishing group, could play a decisive role in the process. In a world where hybrid work systems are the order of the day, it will be more important than ever before to bolster our communication with our staff members and strengthen the corporate culture and the values of organizations.