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Feb 13, 2024

From IRO to CEO in 60 days: Is IR a fast track to the C-suite?

Gustavo Moscatelli, CEO of Movida, discusses his swift journey to the C-suite and highlights the valuable role his IR background plays in his current tenure

IR is increasingly recognized for its pivotal role in propelling professionals into higher positions within organizations. According to an upcoming report from IR Magazine, which surveyed hundreds of IR practitioners, 36 percent of respondents consider the opportunity to pursue a position in the C-suite or on a corporate board as highly important.

The allure of a seat at the C-suite table varies among professionals, with some aspiring to it from the outset, while others view IR as both a desired and an enduring destination. For Gustavo Moscatelli, former CFO and head of IR at Movida and now CEO at the firm, IR ‘brought a lot of the pragmatic perspective every C-suite should have.’

Moscatelli’s transition from IR head to CEO at Movida was a quick one. He was appointed to the dual role of CFO and IRO at the company in February 2023 and was named CEO just two months later.

Upon appointment as CEO, he already boasted more than seven years’ experience in IR, having served as CFO and director of IR at Vamos, part of the SIMPAR holding company. Moscatelli reflects on his tenure there, highlighting the cultivation of ‘special’ relationships with investors also connected to Movida.

He says these relationships have proven invaluable in guiding Movida through a new phase of development and profitability, adding that the role in IR equipped him with ‘a broader perspective as an executive’ and taught him about how to think to generate value for the company and its shareholders.

Asked whether he thinks that as a CEO he would have faced challenges of a different nature without a background in IR, Moscatelli tells IR Magazine: ‘For sure I would, especially when it comes to getting the market feedback in-house.

‘Listening to investors’ opinions even before I joined Movida and [factoring in] their views on the strategy we built was key to keeping a broad perspective while handling the daily routine. My take is that every C-level [member] should be all ears when it comes to IR-related issues, as the stock performance is a clear reflection on how their work is being read by the market.’

Constant alignment

A close connection with IR remains a priority for Moscatelli in his current role as he actively participates in weekly IR meetings, investor conferences and other international events.

‘My alignment with [the IR management] and the IR team is constant, as I prioritize their demands very highly,’ he notes. ‘[From] my perspective, time is key when it comes to responding to investors and helping them with doubts or market outlooks, which is why we are always connected, with aligned [communications].’

Sharing insights on optimizing collaboration between IR teams and executive leadership for lasting company value, Moscatelli stresses the reciprocal nature of IR, where market feedback is vital for adjusting and refining initiatives.

‘The way I see it, investor relations is a two-way street,’ he says. ‘As a CEO, the feedback I take from the market is key to adjusting and rethinking our initiatives as a company, [which] aim to deliver value generation sustainably.’

A paramount need for a CEO is to maintain an equilibrium between staying informed about the market and staying focused on the company’s objectives, Moscatelli adds. Achieving this balance is facilitated through the implementation of a strategically positioned IR strategy.

For IR professionals aiming for leadership roles, Moscatelli’s advice is clear: prioritize pragmatism, cultivate trust and place substantial value on relationships and feedback.

‘IR professionals have enormous potential to fly high due to the general overviews and broad vision [they gain] about the company, the financials and the strategy,’ he says. ‘Going deeply into these soft skills will make you reach your goals.’