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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Yulia Plakhotnyuk

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Yulia Plakhotnyuk

Name: Yulia Plakhotnyuk

Current title: Brand Managing Director

Yulia has been working in the Beauty Industry for more than 18 years. At the end of 2019 she moved to France, where she devoted her time first to learning French language, and then to deep-diving into digital marketing and business tools, taking a MBA Digital Marketing & Business course at EFAP. Currently she is looking for new opportunities with an international brand willing to have a strong omnichannel presence.

Before that from 2015 to 2019 Yulia was based in London at Estée Lauder Travel Retail where she worked as MAC & Too Faced Travel Retail EMEA Brand Director. Her main objective was the development of 2 amazing makeup brands within the very dinamic Travel Retail Channel in Europe, UK, Middle East, and Africa.
Before she worked in Russia as Brand Managing Director Russia and CIS and was in charge for MAC since 2010 till 2015 and for Darphin since 2008 till 2010. She joined the Russian affiliate of Estée Lauder Companies in 2006 as Marketing Director for the Estée Lauder brand.
Before joining ELC, in 2006 - 2007 she worked as a Group Brand Manager for P&G fine fragrances (Boss, Valentino, Baldessarini, Lacoste, Jean Patou) at United Europe Holding, key Russian selective beauty distributor. Earlier she was a New Project Lead at tidy - Russian distributor of mass market personal care.

Yulia also has experience in pharmaceutical and automotive industries.

She has an MBA Specialisé Digital Marketing & Business from EFAP and MSc International Marketing from the University of Starthclyde.

She enjoys travelling, cinema and theater, cooking, spending time with friends and family.

7 Questions with Yulia Plakhotnyuk


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

In my opinion there are 3 very important moments when you work as an executive of a large enterprise. First of all, making sure that short-term goals and long-term objectives work well together. Secondly, what is probably the most challenging - to find time and the right way to inspire each of your team-members and fully discover and develop the potential of each individual. And thirdly, aligning the stakeholders in achieving the common goal and setting the priorities is critical, but not always going smoothly.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I was always passionate about international business development, international marketing and best in class consumer experience. I was fortunate to join the Russian affiliate of Estée Lauder companies, and progressed within the company first to the affiliate leadership role, and then to the international executive role.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

It depends if I work in the office or when I'm travelling. In general I do have everything in my agenda. I block some time for each key project, key meetings, and ideally 1-2 hour a day just for unforseen or urgent issues.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

It's not truly recent, but it's always valid. Lead by example and be authentic. I've been fortunate to know amazing inspiring leaders who's lessons I will always remember.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I would mark 4-hour Work Week from Timothy Ferris - it's about business effectiveness. And another book is called Who has eaten my cheese? Don't remember the author. These books are very simple. But they teach to ask the questions - why am I doing this? Is this the best possible way to achieve the goal? How do I measure success? What can I do differently/ better? I always ask these questions to myself and to my team.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Team empowerment is critical. If each employee feels that s/he can make a difference and that s/he is accountable, they will do the best and develop their leadership skills.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

To succeed it is critical to test and learn the ideas and to be transparent with your team. Sharing the ideas and having the opportunity to speak about any challenge helps to find a solution and always move forward.

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