My Media Life: Frederic Kachar, CEO at Infoglobo

Frederic Kachar began his professional career at Deloitte before joining Grupo Globo in 1997 as a financial analyst for Infoglobo, its newspaper company. By 2001 he’d risen to CFO of Diário Popular newspaper, and by 2008 he was CEO of Grupo Globo’s magazine company Editora Globo. Since then, Frederic has been working on the transformation of the digital business and on portfolio increase with new magazine and brand launches.

In 2010 he was responsible for the creation of Edições Globo Condé Nast, a joint venture between Editora Globo and Condé Nast. In 2015 he also became CEO of Infoglobo. This was the starting point for the merger of the magazine and newspaper publishing companies. He is now Grupo Globo’s managing director for print media.

Frederic Kachar will address leadership and how to navigate highly challenging business environments at the FIPP World Media Congress 2020, taking place online from 2-30 September. See the agenda here. See the ticket options here.

I was always passionate about media but didn’t plan to work in media. I graduated in economics before joining Deloitte. One of my clients was a newspaper in Rio – Globo’s main competitor. I learnt a lot about the industry and it was the start of digitalisation, so there were many discussions about how it would impact the business.

Moving from Deloitte to the Globo Group’s newspaper business was an interesting experience. When you work as a consultant for a company like Deloitte, you don’t execute things. At Globo I had to make decisions, even in my starting role as junior financial analyst.

Infoglobo decided to buy a newspaper in São Paulo – the plan was perfect but within 12 months, we fell behind. This experience helped me understand the big difference between having great ideas and putting them into practice.

I moved to Editora Globo, the magazine arm of the group, as CFO, in order to take part in the restructuring and turn around the company.

I was then promoted to CEO of Editora Globo. My aim was to develop a strategic plan that would make us competitive in the digital ecosystem. The company needed to complement its portfolio to achieve this so Editora Globo entered a joint venture with Condé Nast that resulted in Edições Globo Condé Nast. There was also a big change in the way content was produced and sold, digital products became crucial for our future.

The biggest change I’ve seen in the magazine industry over the past decade has been its ability to create media solutions. If newspapers are effective at developing a subscription business, magazines are more effective at developing branded advertising solutions.

Advertising solutions includes events. Over 160 events were produced last year. Vogue hosts a Carnival Ball every year, with 2000 guests and the hype is very similar to the Met Ball. O Globo newspaper organises Rio Gastronomia, Brazil’s biggest food festival, with over 60,000 visitors in 2019. Our events segment  was very strong before the pandemic.

Teams will be even more integrated after the pandemic. We don’t need to go to the office every day but not all meetings can be replaced by video. For innovation and for culture, we need to be together in the same place.

Every day, we remind ourselves of our values. The spirit of the business and its values are the only things that remain stable while all the rest changes.

The sequence of crisis we have been facing in Brazil over the last five years turned us onto a continuous fireman mode. There are always short term problems pushing everyone within the company. If we don’t manage to differentiate between what is the urgent  and what is important/strategic, dedicating proper share of time for the latter, we’ll be out of business soon.

We are a reliable source of news and the pandemic has brought us our biggest increase in young readers across all titles in Globo.

Leader biographies inspire me – anything from Churchill to Steve Jobs. It’s interesting to see how they deal with the really difficult times. And I read anything about tech and the start-up ecosystem. Fast Company does a great job in presenting different angles on innovation.

The FIPP World Media Congress 2020 takes place online from 2-30 September. See the agenda here. See the ticket options here.


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