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Valeria Plastino’s legal journey has taken her all around the world, but one of the most valuable lessons she learned came from practicing law in the country she grew up in for more than fifteen years and in the United States for almost a decade.
“Argentina is a country that’s gone through a lot of turmoil, frequent ups and downs from a macroeconomic, political, and business perspective,” reflects Plastino, who serves as executive vice president, general counsel, and ethics and compliance officer at Cirion, a leading digital infrastructure and technology provider. “That teaches you about endurance, resilience, and finding solutions while navigating the uncertain, no matter how big the obstacles seem to be. In the last few years, we’ve faced a huge transformation within the company, and you’re very well trained to take that on when you’re from a country that often changes dramatically within a short period of time.”
That training has made her an anchor for her colleagues during her tenure with Cirion. She’s helped the company thrive during multiple acquisitions and culture transformations, and she has continued to do so during the recent sale of Lumen Technologies’ LATAM business unit, where she worked for over fifteen years and ended up with the creation of a new technology and digital infrastructure industry player: Cirion Technologies.
After Cirion was divested, the unit was sold to a private investment fund that focuses on infrastructure and sustainable development. As a result, Plastino has been tasked with partnering with the investor to create a new governance framework for all operating companies and to adopt and implement a corporate compliance program aligned with the investors’ ESG standards, as well as with the company’s new size, culture, and business strategy.
She has been adapting internal policies and procedures while transitioning contracts and business operations from Lumen’s regional business unit to a new standalone and fully divested organization, while also turning an eye towards ambitious long-term growth goals in LATAM with new datacenter infrastructure construction and M&A opportunities.
In each area, she has prepared and assisted her team to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape with an empathetic, open-minded, and collaborative leadership style.
“It’s essential for every leader to anticipate issues and to be ready to deal with them,” she says. “We should always be ready to learn and be open enough to find new solutions around us, they may come from unexpected places. As a leader, you should never pretend that you know everything, and you shouldn’t be afraid to recognize that you don’t in front of your team. This is the best way to motivate your team members to collaborate on finding the answers.”
Another large area of focus has been ESG. Last year, a Cirion multi-disciplinary team issued their very first annual sustainability report, which has been an opportunity to rally excitement about Cirion has in store for making the world a better place.
“From the very start, many of our employees were extremely motivated by the idea and wanted to collaborate in any possible way,” Plastino says. “This project has been a very significant milestone in our history as a company. It has given us an opportunity to work with different areas that we might not always have exposure to on daily basis, as well as learn more about and share the commitment we’re doing for years to come to a sustainable and inclusive business model, aligned with our corporate values and standards of business integrity.”
From an early age, Plastino was drawn to international relations. She wanted to understand how different regions saw the world, their common concerns, and the ways they collaborated with each other. That’s why, after receiving a law degree in Argentina, she embarked on a journey to Italy to perform post
Fast forward eighteen years and Plastino was thriving. She was surrounded by family and friends in her home country and had direct responsibility for all legal, regulatory, compliance, and government affairs related to Lumen Technologies’ LATAM operations. She was then offered an opportunity to move back to the US to the company’s new headquarters in Miami.
“It didn’t take much time to conclude that it was an offer that I couldn’t pass up, both from a professional and personal point of view, and I said, ‘Yeah, a fresh new life adventure, why not?’” Plastino remembers. “I’m doing exactly what I was dreaming about when I was choosing a professional career:
, traveling around the world, working closely with different cultures, embracing diversity, and collaborating to create a better future.”
Young people wanting to succeed shouldn’t be afraid to take risk, Plastino recommends.
“Don’t be afraid of getting into whatever you are passionate about,” she says. “Your career success is directly tied to that. Do a job you love, in which you feel recognized, and you will be naturally giving your best and making an important contribution.”
Plastino’s Passion for ESG
“Sustainability is a strong priority for our newly standalone company. Our ESG goals involve a long-term commitment to a sustainable and inclusive business model and the creation of a positive impact in our communities, aligned with our corporate values and business integrity standards, in which I’ve been working at Cirion and its predecessors for over a decade”.
Plastino on Making a Difference for the World with Her Career.
“When I first started my legal career, I didn’t know all that I could do with a law degree as my career evolved or that I could even develop and impact my own field of practice and the culture around me reflecting my passions, interests, and values into my own career path. As individuals, I believe we all have a mission and the responsibility of making this world better for those coming behind us and I think my profession gives me a chance to do that, to make a small contribution by supporting my colleagues connecting the world through technology and better business practices.”
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is proud to partner with Valeria Plastino and the entire team at Cirion Technologies in support of their mission to further Latin America’s progress through technology. Valeria is an innovative leader and we congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition of her outstanding professional achievements.