How long have you been with Telefónica and what is your assessment of your time here?
I joined the company in October 2005, so curiously, in these same days, I am turning 18, my “coming of age as a telephone operator”. During these “first steps” I have learned a lot. And now I have a whole life ahead of me (also at Telefónica, of course) to apply my learning to real life. Get ready! Joking aside, it is true that what I value most about my time at Telefónica is the possibility I have had of always learning new things; very few companies can offer you something so challenging.
Is there any project at Telefónica that you are particularly satisfied with or proud of?
I am proud of almost every project. As you get older, you tend to focus more – like “grandpa onion” – on your first moments. Mine were fantastic. I will always be grateful to that General Secretariat for allowing me to participate in many and varied projects, some of them “special operations”. I remember with special emotion my travels in Europe with unique former colleagues, doing things that were unimaginable for “pipiolos” like us. I also have indelible memories of my successive stints in Global Resources, the former TISA-Latin America, and finally Compliance.
What do you think Telefónica has contributed to society?
I think the word “contribution” is an understatement. We have been and are living history in Spain and in many of the countries where we are present. When you leave our four walls, you hear from the mouths of others incredible stories about our buildings, our networks, our services and our people. Telefónica is, almost inevitably, a reference or passing actor in a multitude of books, films, exhibitions and so on. Perhaps I would emphasise that: that society would not have been the same without the role that our company was able to play in it.
Where do you see Telefónica in the future?
I think it is very important that we try to preserve this role as a relevant player in people’s lives. It is true that another 100 years is too long. But we have an advantage. We are dedicated to something that will never go out of fashion, because it is part of the most important part of who we are: communication with others. In that sense, we can explore a thousand and one opportunities that will help improve our performance and make us stronger, but I believe that the core of our future activities must continue to revolve around our raison d’être, the very thing that defines our mission.
Could you live without a mobile phone?
It’s amazing what people can achieve when we find ourselves in times of difficulty, so I suppose a sacrifice that consisted of living without a mobile phone for a season would not rise to the level of torture. But admittedly, it would be a major sacrifice. I am one of those people who, if I go out to do a quick errand and realise that I don’t have my mobile phone with me, I go back immediately (even if only to count my steps). Just three decades ago, hardly anyone could have foreseen that, thirty years later, an object as everyday and light as a belt, a watch or a wallet would allow us to store and manage most of our information.
Help us solve one of humanity’s great enigmas: the potato omelette… With onion or without onion?
I like both, but I prefer it without onions. It’s funny. Sometimes we Spaniards invent things without which our life could be hell: the tortilla, ham, blinds (I don’t know if they were invented by a Spaniard, but why doesn’t anyone use them outside of Spain?
Nominate another colleague to appear in this section
First of all, thank you for the interview, and to the person who nominated me for it (although, David, you should know that I’ve taken your place). Mine is much easier: nominating someone who is funnier than a guy who does Compliance has no merit whatsoever; anyone could do it better. In any case, I think it’s time to “open up the field”, “spread the game”, and that’s why I’d like to nominate Elena Maestre; I don’t have the pleasure of knowing her very well, but I sense that she’s perfect, with her experience and from her new and challenging role, on the other side of the ocean, to expose herself to your questions.