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WISE | Vasiliki petrou & Tatiana goldberg

2nd March 2023

In March 2023 we held an inspiring event where we got to delve into the incredible career trajectory of Vasiliki Petrou, CEO of Unilever Prestige since 2014. Vasiliki’s story is one of ambition, self-belief, and the power of pursuing excellence in one’s own areas of strength.

From her early years, where she developed a sense of determination and drive after reading a book, to attending the University of Texas and completing her MBA from Columbia Business School, Vasiliki has blazed a trail in the industry. Starting her career as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble before moving to a fashion startup, Vasiliki was eventually recruited to launch a luxury division from scratch at Unilever, building a $2.5 billion retail sales business within just seven years.

Vasiliki believes in empowering people through a decentralized model and creating networks of expertise that help each other in real-time. Her inspiring leadership has resulted in founder-led businesses, active board members, and a clear focus on leading change with the company’s strategy and goals in mind.

Joining Vasiliki in the event was Tatiana Goldberg, Global Head of HR, who has been with Unilever for 18 years, working in Brazil and the US before joining Prestige in London. Tatiana is inspired by Vasiliki’s intuitive leadership style and lack of guilt for mistakes. Her advice on success is to pursue excellence in one’s own areas of strength and let go of trying to be perfect in everything. She also advises senior women leaders to use their unique talents to help other female leaders.

Learning from the best in the industry and gaining insights on managing energy by spending time with people who give you energy and doing activities that energize you.

Vasiliki and Tatiana inspired all to be our best selves and achieve our goals with authenticity and future-oriented thinking.

  • When I was growing up, I definitely made an effort to fit the mould. I don’t make any effort anymore. I truly think everything now has proven that authenticity matters. All the leadership books and research has now finally caught up and said that it is time to be authentic.
    – Vasiliki Petrou
  • I don’t believe in hierarchy, I’m a big believer in networks, having an active network of people that can help each other, creating this ecosystem of expertise where the companies can help each other… then you have an accelerated effect of intelligence so that everybody learns in real-time from everybody.
    – Vasiliki Petrou
  • At some point by letting go of trying to be perfect and all things to all people, I just made peace with myself and funny enough, the degree of improvement in leadership and feedback and how people reacted to me once I got to that point was so incredible and I never saw that coming.
    – Tatiana Godberg


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