As COO and CEO of Sony Music Latin Spain, Maria Fernandez is one of the most powerful women in Latin music. But power is rarely on her mind.
“Power is something I’ve never sought and something I’ve never really thought about,” says Fernández. “To me, real power is the power that doesn’t have to be shown.”
Fernández was long a Sony secret weapon, working largely behind the scenes until her boss, CEO/President Afo Verdepushed her forward.
“He was the one who told me that to really understand this business and contribute to it, I needed to spend more time with managers, with artists, with people in the industry. It allowed me to have a vision, that people who are normally in finance might not have,” says Fernández, who previously served as CFO at the brand.
In this episode of Latin HitmakerFernández spoke candidly about her rise to COO, balancing high power work and motherhood, the ins and outs of finance and why managers are her “artists.”
Listen to the entire podcast here:
Here are three nuggets from the conversation.
About leaders as artists: “I would say my ‘artists’ are the managers I work with. I’m kind of like a manager’s A&R in the sense that I work very closely with them. Especially in the last couple of years where part of the strategic vision is to identify the people who have exceptional talent in the industry and see what kind of business or association we can make with them.”
On her deal-making philosophy: “I am one of those who believe that for a business to be successful, both parties must feel that they have made a good deal, even one or two years later. We are betting on people’s talent, and that is definitely not a good idea to try to take advantage of them.”
On balance between motherhood and work: “The first thing to be clear about is that it is not necessary to choose [between the two]. For a long time, it was expected that once you had children, you had to choose between family and work. Part of my job is to make it clear that this is not the case. Having a child definitely means you have to deal with stress, organize your time, prioritize. There are many areas where there is a before and after, but I firmly believe that being a mother is a competitive advantage in the workplace.
You can find all Latin Hitmaker episodes on Spotify or on most podcast platforms.