Paulo Henrique Soares | Influence 100

Paulo Henrique Soares

Director, Corporate Communications
Vale S.A.

Soares succeeded Sergio Giacomo last year to head communications at Brazilian mining giant Vale, dubbed the “biggest company you have never heard of” by The Economist. He joined the company 19 years ago, and has worked in various roles during his tenure with the company. Amid sustained global expansion, Soares has ushered in a considerable rethink of Vale’s employee engagement practices, which he believes has helped build a new corporate culture at the company. 

With that in mind, Soares believes that conventional employee engagement models — whether centralised or decentralised — rarely help to unite a company across borders. Instead, he favours allowing local teams to co-create content in conjunction with HQ, from the planning stage onwards. Vale's efforts have resulted in its internal 'Day of Reflection' campaign, a series of videos that aim to unite the company around the importance of safety. As Soares points out, the communication strategy helped the company define its culture. "We needed to find a strategy that was global, and changed the way we operate. Empathy connects people."

In addition, Soares’ role requires a sensitive understanding of social concerns, given Vale’s impact on local communities in Brazil and beyond.

Please share a notable career highlight.
The opportunity to work on a global brand project and to introduce the concept of reputation in a mining company.

What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications/marketing?
To have the chance to relate to different stakeholders and to bring into the organization their points of view and try to suggest adaptations in the way the organization operates and handle its relationships.

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
Hard question... ability to guess what will happen in the future!

What skill/experience is required of today's CCO that might not be as relevant in the future?
All skills and experiences are important for any CCO at any time. Everyone who works in the Comms area must improve their skills... most skills are welcome for communicators, always.

Who or what inspires you to be your best?
My family. They are a real inspiration for me... daily.

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list?
The bible and any historical book.

Most interesting place you've traveled to?
Israel. It is a historical country full of history and amazing places to visit. Israelis are excellent to meet, talk and learn from. Unique culture.