As COO and Executive Vice President of Sony Music Latin Iberia, Maria Fernandez is one of the most powerful women in Latin music. But the power is rarely in his mind.
“Power is something that I have never sought and never really think about,” says Fernández. “To me, real power is power that doesn’t need to be displayed.”
Fernández has long been Sony’s secret weapon who worked largely behind the scenes, until his boss, CEO/Chairman Afo Verdepushed her forward.
“It was he who told me that to really understand this profession and contribute to it, I had to spend more time with managers, with artists, with people from the industry. It allowed me to have a vision that normally people who work in finance maybe don’t have,” says Fernández, who was previously CFO of the label.
In this episode of latin hitmakerFernández spoke candidly about her rise to COO, balancing high-powered work and motherhood, the ins and outs of finance, and why managers are her “artists.”
Listen to the full podcast here:
Here are three nuggets from the conversation.
On managers as artists: “I would say my ‘artists’ are the managers I work with. I’m a bit like a manager’s A&R in that I work closely with them. Especially in the last few years where part of the strategic vision is to identify people who have exceptional talent in the industry and see what kind of business or partnership we can do with them.
On his trading philosophy: “I’m one of those people who believes that for a business to succeed, both parties have to feel like they got a good deal, even a year or two later. We bet on people’s talent and it’s definitely not a good idea to try to take advantage of it.
Reconciling motherhood and work: “The first thing to clarify 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. Decidedly, having a child means having to manage your stress, organize your time, establish priorities. 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 most podcast platforms.