Prior to joining the Vision Fund, Mario ran Expedia Group’s lodging business and commercial operations in 17 countries. Other roles throughout his career have included leading Xbox Live Latin America, running high-growth mobile and advertising products at Microsoft, and working in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. He also serves as a partner and global board director of Social Venture Partners International. His current role at the Vision Fund is focused on delivering operational support to companies in the consumer and hospitality sectors as well as those based in Latin America.
There’s a great sense of adventure in working with the inspiring companies in our portfolio, and I get up every morning knowing we have a chance to help our companies make an impact on the world.
What excites you the most about the portfolio companies you work with?
I was very fortunate to discover computers and the magic of software at a young age, which shaped the opportunities in my life forever. For me, it’s all about the possibility to improve people’s lives through innovation, and I love that we’re helping entrepreneurs build amazing companies and do things that have never been done before. There’s a great sense of adventure in working with the inspiring companies in our portfolio, and I get up every morning knowing we have a chance to help our companies make an impact on the world.
What got you interested in the operational side of business?
As a young boy growing up in Bolivia, I worked at my grandmother's bakery and helped family members who were building small businesses. They were extremely hard-working and creative, and like every successful entrepreneur they had to build a great team and reinvent themselves constantly. They also got knocked down time and again, but persisted despite hyperinflation, massive floods, and other challenges that make people quit. I was inspired, seeing all of that from the inside, and it fueled my passion for building businesses and developing as a leader.
As a leader, how do you solve tough problems when they emerge?
You’ve got to bring people along with you and be ready to roll up your sleeves with a sense of urgency. I’ve also learned that it’s important to engage those closest to an issue and make room for their voices to be heard, before rushing to conclusions. When we approach things that way, we can solve tough challenges while also strengthening and learning as a team.
How do you create the trust that makes that kind of collaboration possible?
I believe the sky is the limit when we collaborate, so I focus a lot on relationships—with peers, entrepreneurs, and colleagues around the world. One of my favorite things about SoftBank is that we’re in it for the long haul––so we invest the time to build lasting partnerships based on mutual trust. Our entrepreneurs and their teams are doing heroic work every day, and it is a privilege to help create those stories.