A Company is More than Product: Culture is Fundamental

Carlos Delso, director of Spain, LVMH, speaks at IESE


On Nov. 16, IESE alumnus Carlos Delso shared his insights on management and reflections on how he has built a highly successful career through rigor and discipline. His presentation was part of the Global Leadership Series within IESE's Executive MBA program.

Delso commended IESE for helping him develop his view of the nature of companies.

"Thanks to the ability of my profesors, here I was able to understand how all the pieces fit together. I disccovered that a company is much more than an entity with a specific function, it is a center that must always be accompanied by values," he said.

Delso traced various key points in his career, starting with his tenure at Unilever, which he called "a second university" that allowed him to conceptualize the marketing topics he had covered during his business education. Next, he joined Pepsico, where he discovered that "a company is not only products and strategies. It also has to have a business culture that sustains it."

At age 32, Delso had a dream fulfilled when he was named sales director at Johnson & Johnson. However, at the time, he also began to have doubts, asking himself "And now what?" He decided to opt for another career change and launched the company Xfera Móviles. While the company never made it to market, it set the stage for the creation of Yoigo.

Finally, he had the opportunity to join LVMH, one of the world's leading luxury brands. The change brought with it a new culture and goals, as well as new questions, he said. "How can a branch shift from executing to innovating and setting strategy?"

According to Delsa, an important component of his dynamic career is his lifestyle, which allows him to combine family life, work, teaching and sports. Above all, he said, he finds moments to disconnect but continue thinking.