Carol Guerra is the Global VP of People for ZX Ventures in New York City. She has held a variety of roles with AmBev/Brazil, AB InBev, and ZX Ventures. We sat down with Carol to discuss her global background and how she’s grown with the company over the years.
Describe your career with AB InBev. What has been the most exciting project you’ve taken on?
I have been with this company in one way or another since I graduated from university. I started my career with AmBev/Brazil, which is part of AB InBev today, after staying for 1 year in a start up, being the third partner to come on board. I joined AmBev in the people and management team and continued to grow in a variety of roles as those challenges were presented to me. In 2011, I came to the US for a global design project based out of St. Louis. After 6 months of this global experience, I joined the NY Global office as the Global People Operations Director. This directly lead to the opportunity to come on board with ZX Ventures at its 2015 inception as the Global VP of People. Being able to contribute to the recruitment strategy of this amazing, diverse team and watching people deliver results that others might say were impossible has been the most exciting challenge of my career.
What are the career trajectory and growth opportunities like at ZX Ventures?
At ZX Ventures, our values of ownership and meritocracy are key to the way we work. We believe in recognizing our high performers with career advancement opportunities, and constantly pushing ourselves – and our teams – to work outside of our comfort zones. This stretching helps us personally by expanding our expertise, and helps the business by bringing new insights. As team members explore new challenges and positions through lateral shifts and promotions across the organization, ZX employees are constantly learning, generating new ideas and gaining holistic yet unique perspectives on the business. Truly, there are countless ways to grow your career here at ZX Ventures.
We offer our teams the opportunity to grow both within and with the business as we extend our scope of work and geographic footprint. Roles and positions may increase in complexity as an employee takes on new and more challenging projects, manages different brands, products or services, creates new business models or leads expansion into new markets. Leveraging our global footprint, we offer not only cross-functional career growth, but also access to opportunities to build existing- and new- businesses in a same location or sometimes in different countries and regions around the world.
What influences who is on the rise at ZX Ventures?
We are always looking for people who deliver results and exceed expectations. Because meritocracy is a foundational principle in our culture, we recognize those top performers who are open to taking on new challenges and often offer them new, exciting opportunities. To support meritocracy, we have an annual cycle in place where we review our employees’ current performance, connect with them to understand their career goals and aspirations and work with them to identify – or even create – job opportunities that ensure we have the right people in the right place. We also take succession planning seriously so that we can have a clear view of our pipeline and a map of potential successors for key roles in our organization. Succession planning is also used to highlight development opportunities to prepare our team members for future challenges.
How would you summarize the recruitment strategy at ZX Ventures?
Our recruitment strategy is unique because our roles are not static; instead, they are always adapting to new challenges. With that in mind, we look for the best and brightest people with a variety of backgrounds to add to our teams. While a role may initially require a more specific skill set, we truly value employees with the ability and interest to contribute to our businesses in a cross-functional way and who are open to new challenges, so that they can continually keep up with those changes.
At ZX Ventures, our values center on the essentials of meritocracy, resilience, open communication and a natural curiosity. Our bread-and-butter work is all about pushing the boundaries of what can be done, and different ways of thinking are key to meet that challenge. The answers to the problems we face at ZX Ventures aren’t always obvious. Sometimes we have to invent them as we go along.