Jorge Oliveira, country manager of Solvay Spain and Portugal, speaks at the employability conferences “And Now What?”

22 Mar 2024
Jorge Oliveira, country manager of Solvay Spain and Portugal, speaks at the employability conferences “And Now What?”

The Universidad Europea del Atlántico (European University of the Atlantic, UNEATLANTICO) organizes a new session of the third edition of the employment conference “And Now What?” (¿Y ahora qué?) with a conference by the country manager for Spain and Portugal of Solvay, Jorge Oliveira.

Solvay Química S.L. is a multinational company based in Belgium founded by Ernest Solvay, which is a leader in sustainable chemistry and makes a large percentage of sales in the sector, innovating with new ways of applying chemistry to technology; Jorge Oliveira is general manager in the sectors of Spain and Portugal.

Oliveira hails from the Republic of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. At the early age of 16, he was forced to leave his country because of the colonial war.  He arrived in London in 1976 where he got two different jobs; there, he learned to handle logistics, customer service, and running a business.

A year later, he began studying chemical engineering at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, to start a fashion company a year later. Upon graduation in 1982, he became director of the University of Coimbra Radio. However, his work was interrupted because a year later, he had to do his military service in Portugal.

It was in 1986 that he joined Solvay as an employee, until, eight years later, he became head of the peroxide production unit at Solvay’s Coimbra plant. Due to his long and distinguished career within the multinational company, Jorge Oliveira has had the opportunity to manage teams in Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom.  

Oliveira is currently the director of Spain and Portugal for Solvay. It should be noted that his work involves managing more than 1,000 company employees in both countries. Solvay is present in 61 countries, with 22,000 employees and 99 factories worldwide.

Oliveira’s philosophy in the workplace

Jorge interacted with the audience, answering questions about the process of finding your own career path regardless of your current life circumstances. He emphasized that things must be done in a positive way so that the tasks are not perceived as a burden but as an opportunity. He ended the conference with the reflection that a dream is always a goal with a plan constantly being built, focused on “being the very change you want to see in yourself”.

It is worth mentioning that the 3rd cycle of the “And Now What?” program is a joint initiative of  UNEATLANTICO’s Business University Center (Centro Empresa Universidad, CEMU), Fundación Innovación y Desarrollo (Innovation and Development Foundation, FIDBAN), Sociedad para el Desarrollo Regional de Cantabria (Association for the Regional Development of Cantabria, SODERCAN), and CEOE CEPYME Cantabria.