Gizem Kaya

Gizem Kaya

Sunglass Hut E-Commerce Director

Milan, Italy

OPEN THINKER

Tell us a little about you.

I’m from Ankara, Turkey. After my Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in Middle East Technical University (METU), I moved to Italy to attend a Master’s Degree at Politecnico di Milano in 2005.

I had my first working experience in one of the major home appliance companies and in 2011 I joined a strategy consulting firm, where I worked for 6 years: first as a consultant and then as a manager, mainly running projects on retail and consumer goods companies.

In 2017 I joined Luxottica.

Tell us a little about your Luxottica journey so far.

When I joined Luxottica 3 years ago, I was E-commerce manager for Sunglass Hut, responsible for the online shop-in-shops, with a focus on the UK market and the North American one. My role and responsibilities have gradually increased, and this month I’ve got promoted as Sunglass Hut E-Commerce Director.

What makes your journey unique in Luxottica?

I love to see, live and experience the innovations of the E-commerce world. In our team we always work with a central governance considering the characteristics of local markets. A truly global path!

What are the most important skills for your role?

It is essential to have the ability to work in cross-functional teams, very different in terms of skills, culture and markets. We need to be oriented to innovative thinking, with an entrepreneurial spirit and an international mindset.

What does collaboration look like in your office?

Collaboration is the basis of our daily work. We work a lot together, both centrally and locally with different markets, sharing challenges and successes, always aimed at a common goal.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt here at Luxottica?

Being entrepreneurial. You should never be afraid to express your opinion but strongly believe in your ideas to the point of making them come true. All you need is the right amount of courage.

Have you worked with mentors within the company who have had a positive impact on your career?

In the past 3 years I had the opportunity and the good fortune to work with colleagues with different experiences who, through continuous comparison and mutual support, helped me to grow both professionally and personally.

What do you love most about your job?

I like the possibility to generate innovative ideas and projects, but above all to develop and put them into practice and available to the company, reacting positively to new challenges and finally committing myself to their realization.

What is the most challenging project you have worked on? And how did it turn out?

A challenging project has been managing the online department stores in North America, due to the geographical distance and the size of the business in this market.

Thanks to the close relationship built with the local team I managed to win the trust of all the partners involved to have local support and collaboration. I tried to listen to the needs and ideas of the market to understand their characteristics and established a constant and successful dialogue with them. Especially the initial phase of this project was the most intense period but certainly the one that gave me the greatest satisfaction!

What advice would you offer young professionals looking to join Luxottica?

Have an entrepreneurial spirit always keeping business objectives in mind, respecting relationships and enhancing talents.

Are you able to balance your personal goals with your professional goals at Luxottica?

I consider my experience in Luxottica very positive not only for the working environment, but also for the great flexibility and the welfare initiatives.

My recent promotion was a really nice surprise for me. Further confirmation and personal recognition, as well as a beautiful signal.