Duda Melzer: Insired To Innovate
Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer, known virtually exclusively as Duda Melzer, is a third generation member of the Sirotsky family, which run Grupo RBS, one of Brazil’s largest media companies. As president, Melzer oversees the company founded by his grandfather, Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho, in 1957. While family-operated businesses are common in Brazil, Duda Melzer was not handed his position as CEO on a platter. His uncle, Nelson Pacheco Sirotsky, who was chairman of Grupo RBS, insisted that all family members working in executive positions first earn an MBA from a respected university, which Duda obtained from Harvard University. Another condition was that executives prove their worth outside of the family business, which Duda Melzer did by working at the Delphi Corporation and as CEO of BoxTop Media in New York.
Since becoming head of Grupo RBS, Melzer has prided himself on implementing an innovation strategy, which the company received honors for in 2014. In recognition of the example he sets as part of the new generation of executives in family businesses worldwide, Duda Melzer was placed on Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise’s 2015 list of examples of excellence.
Additionally, Duda Melzer serves as chairman of e.Bricks Digital, Grupo the VC company he founded, which provides capital and expertise to companies in Brazil and U.S. companies targeting Latin American markets.
When Dino asked Duda Melzer who inspired him, Melzer credited John Davis, a Harvard University professor and consultant who worked with RBS in 1999 and Jim Collins, another consultant who specializes in family-run businesses.