Executive with Charisma & Optimism 3 minutes spent reading

Executive with Charisma & Optimism

Christopher Eberl
Christopher Eberl is editorially responsible for the topics on the blog as well as for the apprentice website. With his stories he provides deep insights into the diverse world of the voestalpine Group.

As overused as the term, “power woman,” may be, it is an apt description of Suzana. She is the director of the Automotive Business unit of voestalpine’s Brazilian subsidiary, Villares Metals, and an extraordinary executive to boot.

Suzana da Silva, Villares MetalsWhenever Suzana B. enters a room, it feels as if she brought a breath of fresh air with her. This vivacious director of the Automotive segment of Villares Metals in Sumaré, a city of 290,000 people in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo (“one of the country’s most beautiful regions”), radiates drive and optimism—characteristics that this MBA graduate can put to good use in her job, day in and day out.

Sphere of Activity with Lots of Space

Suzana and her team are tasked with vast responsibilities. She must keep an eye (in real time) on the global automotive market including its ongoing transformation in the direction of climate-neutral mobility; maintain constant contact with customers and stakeholders alike; optimize the portfolio of this storied steel plant; as well as strategically align her business unit and keep it moving forward. Add to that the steady work on the value chain along with her ceaseless efforts to boost earnings.

A Perfect Example of a Steel Mill

Striving for success and continual development is written into the DNA, so to speak, of Villares Metals: “Everybody who works here feels the passion, the professionalism, and the commitment that makes us at Villares stand out.” The fact that the company consistently ranks among the voestalpine Group’s best performers when it comes to workplace safety reflects the importance it gives to all its employees.

Villares has been manufacturing a wide range of high-performance steels for more than 70 years. Its high quality standards apply to the entire facility: “Many people who visit us for the first time are amazed by the beauty of its set-up on the whole and its well-kept grounds everywhere,” Suzana is happy to report when talking about the recognition that Latin America’s largest steel plant of its kind enjoys.

The Art of Negotiation

A significant portion of Suzana schedule is devoted to meetings and negotiations, which she likes a lot: “In college, business negotiations already were the heart and soul of my interests.” To this day, developing negotiating strategies is one of the favorite activities of this staunchly results-oriented manager. It is a real personal asset, particularly in an environment that is as competitive as the automotive industry, which is notorious for its penny-pinching ways. The same applies to Suzana’s love for challenges, which she cherishes as much as she dislikes falling into routines.

A Heart for People

But Suzana’s success is rooted not just in her negotiating skills. It also is the fruit of her approachability and the high regard that she has for all people. The personal and professional growth of every member of her team is particularly dear to her. No matter how tough she may be in negotiations, Suzana never fails to see the human being and the sun in her counterpart at the conference table: “As different as the world’s markets are, there are people everywhere who are well intentioned, collaborative, committed, and respectful.”

The Sources of Her Strength

As important as the world of business and management are to her, Suzana B. never conceals that, in addition to her family and her friends, her deep faith is one of the sources of her strength: “A feeling of great gratitude fills my life, and I am happy every day.” Yet the joys of her life are also fed by such worldly matters as the Brazilian Carnival and dancing flamenco, which Suzana counts among her passions, as many people in Brazil do.

Christopher Eberl

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