Stephane Pere, the child of the 60’s rock and rollers who thought he would become a drummer, is now the Executive Vice President in Business development of one of most known business magazines « The Economist ». Here is his story.
Stephane Pere, born in 1977 in Paris, lived in Africa with his parents for the first 4 years of his life before they moved back to Paris.
Music has always been a huge part of his life and education. At 18 years old, he wanted to be a drummer. He confesses to me while laughing, that he realized he wasn’t that good and decided to study law thinking he could maybe study music later.
After 5 years of law, everything changed when Stephane decided to begin a master of Science in Management on Marketing and negotiation in a business school. His parents were against it, as they may have a « 68 mentality, they think business people are liars » Stephane told me, laughing.
Once, in a class, they were asked to put themselves in the place of sales-guys. He was reluctant but did it anyway. At the end of the presentation, as everyone applauded him, he realized he had fallen in love with negotiation.
Since then, his career has been incredible. From working for the famous French group Canal +, to The Economist through Yahoo, his job was always about learning something and explaining it to the others.
Today his life is split between London and Paris. Looking back at his career he talked about luck, saying, « My personal life is incredible, and I’m really amazed to have this career, mostly for a French person I had a lot of opportunities, I’ve seen lots of things, learned and travelled the world. »
What I learned from Stephane is that everything is possible. He calls himself a transformer, seeing all the risks as opportunities, and transforming failures into successes. Later one of his parent’s friends told me a really interesting anecdote about Stephane that I think summarises him very well. When he was younger, Stephane worked with him in the timeshare during the summer and it was a disaster. Later when he applied for a business school or his first job, (he can’t remember exactly) there were many candidates but he made a difference for a surprising reason.
“During the interview, they were asked to describe an experience they have lived. When everyone boasted a success, he told of his failure in the timeshare, and it was he who was picked.”
Stephane wakes up every day feeling like he is going to make a difference. Talking with him, I discovered an extremely positive person. This led me to be extremely surprised when he told me how negative he was about how the world is evolving. Sadly, he explained, that he feels that people are less and less open to others, and averse to what is different. He thinks that we should all enjoy the chance of globalisation because it means meeting people that are different, that doesn’t think like us. A great opportunity to work with them and try to understand each other.
Mickael, his childhood friend described him as a person of reflection. « What always amazed me about Stephane is that he has perspective against any situation, he is brilliant .»
« When you see something negative, try to see what everyone doesn’t and find what it is positive about that thing. » Stephane Pere
Our interview finished on those few words, loaded with meaning and indeed well thought out.