Mrs. Henriquez is a professional with 38 years of experience, out of which 26 have been spent as President and/or CEO of multinational or global companies in Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina and now in France.
Mrs. Henriquez is renowned for developing and implementing strategies to manage companies in difficult contexts and circumstances. For 26 years she has contributed to different companies by developing and executing the right strategies to successfully lead their ways as president and/ or C.E.O. of companies which produced and distributed wines and spirits in Venezuela, food in Mexico, sparkling and still wines in Argentina and now in the House of Krug, in Reims, France. The House of Krug is at the very top of the Champagne industry, it is the only house that has created only Prestige Champagnes since it was founded in 1843.
Mrs. Henriquez better known as Maggie was also president of the Association of Manufacturers in Venezuela, Mexico and actively participated in the transformation of the wine Argentinean Industry. In Argentina, she got deeply connected with winegrowing and winemaking during her eight years at the head of Moet Hennessy properties there.
1/ You are the proof that a woman can make it to the highest corporate levels in todays world. Could you share with us the values that have supported you all the way through?
My values, I know, come directly from my house and my family. Respect, generosity, gratefulness, humbleness, never negotiate my values, social conscious and always be myself. Then I could say, I have always worked very hard, I am passionate, joyful and close to people. I love what I do and try to learn every day. I have always been part of the problem, so I can be part of the solution and I have understood, nobody has to get adapted to you, one has to adapt to countries and company culture. I like to take some risks, I am not afraid, I listen to others, boost creativity and take ideas from others happily. I deeply believe in the projects I am in and I do all for them to succeed. Extremely important always communicate, this is critical. Try to make your project, the project of everyone. And cannot forget, I have always remember the little story of the egg and the stone. For those who do not know it. Do you know which breaks when the stone hits the egg? Obviously the egg! And if the egg hits the stone? Of course the egg. So in any relationship or most of them, for sure in business, one is either egg or stone. So you have to know when you are egg………. and do not hit the stone. Those are the right moments to leave…….. and understanding the flow of life, has also been another useful support.
2/ Choices in life are of a great importance, they are even more present in a career. Describe an experience where you had to make a difficult choice in your career that has proved to be right.
In January 1995 I decided I needed to upgrade my academic level and went to Harvard for 4 months for 2 different long programs that combined with my 17 years of experience, were equivalent to a Master. This was already a tough decision and I know it was good but this is not the one I wanted to relate. Being in Harvard I realized I had to go abroad and prove myself abroad to be able to be an international leader. It was not enough to stay in my country even if I was working for an international companies. I went back, took the decision of leaving, went back to Caracas, picked my sons and my husband at that time and left to Mexico to work in Nabisco. Very tough situation as it was the 1995 Mexican crisis, the biscuit industry was in crisis and the company was having very tough times. In 18 months, the company was making money and we did not only saved the job of 3500 people in the company but we radically contributed to transform the biscuit industry in Mexico. Today my position is a continuation of this major and correct decision.
3/ Being a woman from Venezuela in the head of the most prestigious French champagne house, must be a daily challenging mission.
Yes, of course it is challenging but I think it is challenging for anyone, being Venezuelan or not. A House with the positioning of Krug is a great challenge because we take long time to make our Champagnes, but our rhythm has nothing to do with currents ones. So in Krug we have to make all decisions thinking in 8 years minimum. I am grateful to life that I have this position because it arrived in a perfect time in my life and without any doubt showed the open mind of M. Navarre, president of the Moet Hennessy and of the group. I have fully appreciated and I am very grateful. I have dedicated nonstop 6 years to the House, we started a magical journey of reconnecting with our roots and from there build a totally aligned communication plan. This has been great, as results are fantastic. So it has been challenging but results are great. We can say without hesitation that in Krug, all have changed and nothing has changed! it is interesting to be aware that I have never tasted a Krug made in my times. At the same we have revolution the communication adding the Krug iD and much more. One can see that all has changed and nothing has changed as all Champagnes were created far before me.
Could you tell us what empowers you everyday to make your company more successful?
The people, the people of the House, people in the Moet Hennessy companies, our growers and very specially our Krug Lovers and those who will become. Our Krug Lovers who are so happy seeing the openness, transparency and beautiful evolution. I am empowered by the idea of placing Krug at the top of Champagnes, which is the place the founder dreamt and to help from there to change perception of Champagne and to open its discovery to many more moments and more special, not to use flutes any more to taste good Champagnes.
4/ You are a mother of two boys who are now adults. Share with us your experience of leading a successful career with a guilt free motherhood.
First and most important advice, NEVER, NEVER feel guilty. I have never felt guilty, I knew I was making an effort to assure the education and quality of life of my sons and on the other side to assure my growth professionally, personally and spiritually. They have also been very conscious and extremely cooperative and proud. An excellent ecosystem based on freedom. I know there are some tough years, especially when kids are small but working gives freedom in the relationship with kids as you do not have them as the sole source of satisfaction and for women, in general, but especially if you have kids, having kids creates a very strong sensation of freedom as success will never come from the job for us, it will always come from our Kids. Knowing this was the right way for freedom, I today, can confirm that I am very happy with the direction of my life. And I would like to insist, never feel guilty because this will be perceived by your kids and will then try to manipulate you and here you maybe harming their future as people who manipulate underestimate the intellect of others, and normally they do not go very far.
5/ Based on the following description, how would you relate to the Mayshad Woman?
To Be a Mayshad Woman, is a Choice a Woman makes to live a stimulated life with a positive Philosophy based on Gratitude, Acceptance and Accomplishment, in order to Be Who She Wants to Be.
She handles different Aspects of her Life with Confidence, and makes sure to always remain Herself, guarding her own values.
She is a free spirit, who designs her own Life inspiring others to do the same.
I am amazed as when I read the description is exactly what I wrote at the beginning, so I am a Mayshad Woman, I have no doubt. Love, gratitude, confidence and self-awareness, blended with humbleness and dreams, have taken me far and I love to share it.