Fabio José Silva Coelho is an administrator, entrepreneur and current executive director of Google Brasil since 2011. He holds a degree in civil engineering and business administration from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He has already worked in the commercial and product marketing areas, before occupying the presidency of Google, and was responsible for launching Gatorade in Brazil. Fabio Coelho was elected CEO of the Year by Exame Info magazine in 2012. In the April 2015 edition of Forbes Brasil magazine, Fabio appears on the list of the ten best CEOs in the country. In addition to being CEO of Google Brazil, he also serves as vice president of Google Inc, a multinational software and services company in the United States. Google hosts and develops a number of internet-based products and services and generates profit primarily through advertising through AdWords. “I believe that companies and people have to stay relevant and to do so, think every day about who uses their services, about learning from the changing dynamics of people and environments and adapting all the time. The secret here is not to give up any of the two elements at any time. Culture without Performance cannot be sustained in the medium term, and Performance without Culture would transform us into any company. At Google, we try to maintain this balance with planning and monitoring of planned actions ”, he says.
Fabio, is running a company like Google Brazil a daily challenge?
A challenge and a privilege, after all, we help millions of people and companies in the daily process of inclusion, access to information that allows them to make better decisions. Certainly, but it is a pleasant challenge. One of my priorities is to guarantee growth with quality and that involves balancing two fundamental and complementary elements: Culture and Performance. Google is globally recognized and valued for its unique organizational culture and also for being a high performance environment for individuals and groups.
What is fundamental for these challenges to be overcome?
I believe that companies and people have to stay relevant and for that to think every day about who uses their services, to learn from the changing dynamics of people and environments and adapt all the time. The secret here is not to give up any of the two elements at any time. Culture without Performance cannot be sustained in the medium term, and Performance without Culture would transform us into any company. At Google, we seek to maintain this balance with planning and monitoring of planned actions, in addition to a concern for the teams that work in the most diverse areas of the company.
How do your external observations influence your actions?
To be a leader is to create an ambitious but feasible vision, and to bring people to change the existing reality by building something better. Leadership defines the vision of what is possible and helps people to make that vision a reality. But to do this, the leader needs to be able to adapt constantly, interpreting the scenarios and adjusting the vision as the changes change. Always being aware of what happens inside and outside the company, around you in all environments, gives the possibility to transform the observations into growth, for me and for the teams that work with me.
Is the sense of purpose part of these observations?
Yes of course. I always try to keep in mind not only what is important for the company, but also what matters to employees, suppliers, customers and everyone who orbit our system.
Has your sense of purpose always matched the sense of purpose of the companies you've been to, especially Google?
At the Google, I found purposes and practices that are in line with what I have always advocated, learned and studied. With the experience I acquired in other companies, from the most diverse branches of activity, I am now able to focus on goals aligned to my beliefs and also linked to Google's mission and values.
What makes a company the size of Google always relevant?
We take our role seriously in building a connected society, in which anyone, anywhere in the world, can access the most diverse information and knowledge. We work tirelessly to create a Internet more inclusive, accessible and safe, and to facilitate people's daily lives with useful products that make a difference in their lives. We also act to increase access to information, connect the next internet users and help entrepreneurs and companies to succeed in the digital world.
What is the essential foundation that brings this relevance?
As a company, perhaps our most important lesson is to put people first. This is part of the truths that Google believes and is present daily in my reflections as a leader. A very important part of our commitment also involves programs that involve access to education, diversity, fostering innovation and economic growth.
Was digital acceleration expected by Google even before the pandemic?
With the evolution of the pandemic, many Brazilian companies have multiplied their efforts to, through digital, remain connected to their customers in this period of social distance. In general, we were already moving towards this digitalization, but the pandemic accelerated all processes and decision making. I believe that, weighing all the factors, positives, proposals presented and difficulties faced, Google confirmed once again its role as a partner of companies in their digital journey. It is also important to highlight the role of several of our products and services that have helped to keep people connected and with access to relevant and quality information.
What catches your eye about this acceleration?
On the one hand, many companies were not prepared, on the other hand, we had contact with companies that already had all the conditions to make the digital change. This made us happy and brought us the certainty that we can contribute so that companies go through the best possible way through this unprecedented period that we are living.
How does the company keep employees engaged in this complex time?
Google is a company that evolves every day to contribute more and more to a better society, with more efficient companies, with the generation of opportunities in the digital economy and with the democratization of internet access, so we basically seek proactive people , moved by purposes and attentive to the context in which we are living.
At Google, everyone needs to understand that there are no ready-made answers and that there must be a joint construction. It is very common for me to give an idea and, from that idea, others are born that are much better. It is also important to respect diversity. And here I’m not just talking about gender and race diversity, but opinions. It is necessary to be able to deal with the adversary and with opinions that are contrary to yours.
Which trends should guide your market in the coming years?
In the coming years, the digitization of Brazil will be high on the leaders' agenda. Brazilians have a natural vocation for the digital environment, but until now people have used technology primarily for communication. Helping people to develop skills and expand the supply of digital tools is critical to Brazil's progress in the coming years. According to the report Digital Index, which we released in 2019, together with McKinsey consulting, training people and businesses to benefit from digital tools can have an impact of R$ 70 billion on GDP by 2025. At a time when the pandemic led to the need for social distance and generated significant changes for companies of all sizes, digitization and digital skills training has gained even greater importance.
It is essential that we continue to contribute to the development of the country and this involves promoting programs that involve access to education, fostering innovation and economic growth. There is still much to be done when we think about the potential for digital transformation and I have no doubt that this motivates all of us at Google to continue innovating for years to come and contributing to the digitalization of the country on all fronts.
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