Young Executives Who Go the Extra Mile

5th Young Executive Talent awards


Premios Jóvenes Directivos con Talento

(Left to right) Santiago Álvarez de Mon, Teresa Perales, Luís Casacuberta, Carlota Pi and Julio Rodríguez during the prize-giving ceremony / Photo: Jordi Estruch

IESE’s Barcelona campus recently hosted the 5th Young Executive Talent awards, presented by the headhunting firm Seeliger & Conde to executives under 40 who have shown innovation and outstanding commitment during their careers.

Make an Impact, Lead, Transform

The awards presentation was preceded by a round-table discussion titled 'Make an Impact, Lead, Transform. It was Worth the Effort,' jointly organized by Seeliger & Conde, the IESE Executive MBA and the Fundación Príncipe de Girona.

Santiago Álvarez de Mon, IESE professor of Managing People in Organizations, interviewed Teresa Perales, an elite sportswoman and expert in personal and sports coaching. She is also an outstanding example of personal fortitude and professional ambition. At the age of 19 Teresa was diagnosed with a condition that, within three months, left her in a wheelchair and unable to move. Instead of giving in, she started anew. She learned to swim and now has 22 Paralympic medals, the same as Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympic champion of all time.

Lose the Fear of Losing

The conversation was joined by three IESE EMBA alumni who, like Teresa, embodied the same spirit of bravery and beating the odds: Luis Casacuberta (EMBA '07), managing director of H.E. By Mango, said that he spent the little free time his job allowed him on travelling from Barcelona to Madrid every weekend to join the EMBA program; Carlota Pi (EMBA ‘09), cofounder of, quit her senior job in an energy multinational to set up an entrepreneurial project that allowed her to spend more time with her children, and Julio Rodríguez (EMBA ‘10), chief commercial officer at Vueling, gave up a promising career as a physicist in the United States to take up a sales job at a newly-created Spanish airline which at the time had barely taken off. All three of them emphasized the need to take risks, trust in yourself and “lose the fear of losing” in order to achieve meaningful professional changes and find opportunities for personal growth. Or, as Teresa Perales put it: “If I compete, I win. I only lose if I don’t take part.”

The Winners

The awards panel, made up of members of Seeliger & Conde, representatives of the Fundación Príncipe de Girona and previous winners, awarded the prizes after assessing the candidates’ careers, values and professional commitment.

This year’s winners are: 

  • Mario Móstoles (Ferrovial Agroman) in the General Management category 

  • Elena Colmenero (Philip Morris) in Human Resources 

  • Susana Voces (Ebay) in Sales Management 

  • Naiara Villanueva (Nissan) in Operations Management

  • Ana Baltasar (Bimbo) in Financial Management

  • Alfonso Cárcamo (FROB) in Legal Management

  • Beatriz Sanz (EY) in Technological Management

A New Leadership Model

In his closing speech, Luis Conde, managing director of Seeliger & Conde, said he was pleased to see that a majority – five out of seven – of this year’s winners were women and commented, “we are now witnessing the emergence of a new leadership model, both in companies and in the country’s political institutions.”

He said this new leadership model was based on a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach. In Conde's opinion, it was also happening in politics because social networks were empowering people. “And three quarters of this has been achieved in business: bossing people around is over, so is guaranteed obedience... Today’s leader is less controlling and listens more,” he added.