Pedro Pereira da Silva
Chief Operations Officer at Jerónimo Martins Group & Country Manager at Jerónimo Martins Poland and Portugal
BA, Nova SBE 1989
BA, Nova SBE 1989
I have known Pedro Pereira da Silva for 25 years now and I have followed his personal and professional life since then. I have no hesitation in saying that the work developed by the “Grupo Jerónimo Martins” in Poland, in particular the chain Biedronka stores since early 2000 when Pedro came to Poland, is his main professional pride (personal aspects, the wife and four sons are at the top of his greatest joys, achievements, and its priorities).
The position of leadership highlighted by Biedronka in the Polish market was achieved through the benefit of a considerable investment by a dedicated and enthusiastic shareholder, and also through a great deal of collaborative effort on the part of Portuguese and Polish workers. Above all, it was achieved through an eagerness to excel. Pedro’s leadership style made the difference in this undertaking. From what was shared in the early years as CEO, Biedronka went through very difficult times, Pedro took over the primary responsibility of facing the problems, to put the company and its employees into the foreground, and never give up or let anyone else give up. All of this reveals his true commitment to the country and to the Polish people. Biedronka is currently the store preferred by nearly half of the population of Poland to make their everyday purchases, and 98% of the Polish have a strong brand awareness of the company.
I believe that Pedro Pereira da Silva understands his primary role as being someone who should develop, inspire, and mobilize talented people toward self-achievement and self-fulfillment. Nothing gives him as much pleasure as leading teams, identifying talent, and developing it.
I see Peter as a strategist with a strong commercial intuition, and clearly he was born as a negotiator. In recent years he has been involved in choosing the new location for the entry of Jerónimo Martins, which forced him to cross oceans, continents and time zones at a frenetic pace that he enjoys as he searches for new opportunity. Colombia was the destination selected, making Pedro a top manager, designing a new golden triangle: Warsaw-Lisbon-Bogota.
Pedro Pereira da Silva strongly emphasizes training and the idea of sharpening leadership skills in business. In his opinion, leadership is based on trust and mutual respect. He believes that the modern world needs leaders who are not only competent and aware, but also have a clear vision of goals and the strategies to achieve them, as well as a firm conviction and determination to pursue those goals, with means that go beyond charisma and passion. He has mentioned on several occasions that "Leadership is not just about modern explanations, teaching, setting goals and expectations, it’s achieving them. It’s also about the development of ideas and thoughts, aspirations, and reaching people's personal goals, in order to achieve the objectives envisioned. A good and effective leader encourages his team to take risks, but also to take responsibility that comes with leadership. […] employees should be proud of their daily contribution to the development of business, and that they should work in order to make tomorrow better than yesterday".
When I look back, I believe that the teachings and the culture of Nova SBE have had their influence in strengthening the capacity for analysis, cultivating curiosity and the spirit of challenging conventions, and having the courage to explore the new and unknown, qualities that Pedro obviously has. Relaxed and informal, he crosses his passion for rigor with willingness and a knack for discipline, celebrating both small and large victories.
Despite the pressure of schedules and timetables, Pedro has never abandoned his link to "our" Nova, activating alumni networks when he is in Lisbon and participating as Guest Speaker in our graduate-level programs targeting Internationalization, and of special note is his commitment to the recently introduced mentoring project. From my conversations with him, I think if I had to give advice to young people I would tell them, "Try to make a difference in everything and not be afraid of internationalization, if your future lies in that direction. Trust in your talent and in your skills and be humble. The rest is work and passion. Never give up on being happy."
Pedro joined Jeronimo Martins Group in 1990, starting as a management trainee. He has had a career of great diversity in demanding operations, commercial management, having been with Pingo Doce, Feira Nova, Lidosol, and JG Camacho (Madeira), and Biedronka. For almost four years, Grupo Jeronimo Martins has entrusted him with defining strategy and supervising the Group's operations in various locations, with particular focus as Country Manager in Poland and Portugal.
At the age of 45, Pedro is an international manager recognized for his ability and merit, with a professional career that speaks for itself. Constant learning and leadership by example are true inspirations we can take from our colleague and his unstoppable energy.
Pedro Pereira da Silva
Advisor to the Portuguese government for internationalization of the Portuguese economy, Pedro has been awarded the Medal of Merit for his accomplishments by the President of the Republic of Portugal. In the Business world he is widely known as a co-creator of the success of Jeronimo Martins’ Biedronka retail chain in Poland. After 18 years in the market, Biedronka has become the largest retail chain in Poland, one of the most widespread retail brands in the world, often referred to as ‘a discount with a soul’ and an internationally acknowledged example of success in retailing. Biedronka’s popularity is reflected in the fact that it is visited by more than a billion customers each year.
Pedro tied his professional career to the Jeronimo Martins Group. Graduating from Nova SBE enabled him to join the JM Group Management Trainee program in 1990. He later joined the Pingo Doce Supermarkets, with a number of positions in the Purchasing Department. In 1997 he was promoted to the position of Feira Nova Hypermarket Director in Lisbon. In 1998 he was promoted to CEO of the Madeira JM Business Unit, comprising Pingo Doce supermarkets and Recheio Cash&Carry, and was responsible for all operational management of the two companies. By April 2000, he became CEO of Biedronka Chain of Jeronimo Martins Poland. Pedro Pereira da Silva was promoted to COO of Jeronimo Martins Group in April 2010 and is a member of the JM Group Managing Committee, in the position of Country Manager of JM Group in Poland, and also for Portugal from 2013 on.
He was also one of the founders of the Polish–Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, in March 2008 and has been its President until the present day, strengthening Polish-Portuguese business relations and remaining one of the
most active "ambassadors" of Polish-Portuguese business.