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Better know a CEO: Sebastian Bako, regional CEO of Avon

Sebastian Bako Avon/regional CEO Bako was named to head the Danube Group of Avon in April 2010.. He joined the company in 1999 in Romania, and took part in launching the company in Moldova in 2001. From 2003, he was in charge of the company’s market entry in Bosnia. He was appointed M,anaging Director of Avon in Kazakhstan in 2006, and then headed the company in India between 2007 and 2010. He has Romanian, Hungarian and German origins, and speaks Romanian, English, Russian, French, Italian, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian; he is currently also taking Hungarian lessons. He is married and has a three-year-old daughter.

1. What talent would you most like to have?


2. What is the trait you most disapprove of in others?

Fakeness: when people are not true to themselves, when they are pretending. I do think that one should always improve, but you are unique, so you should be the way you are; your best self.

3. Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

Neo from The Matrix.

4. What kind of job did you dream of when you were a child?

Astronaut and tank driver. I remember, as a child I always wanted to be a colonel on a tank.

5. What is your greatest regret?

Even though I had a couple of bad investments, I’m happy to say that I have no regrets at all.

6. What is your greatest fear?

I am a little bit afraid of flying, and strangely fascinated by it at the same time. I know almost everything about planes, but sometimes when I fly, for example in Asia during the monsoon, I am like, boy oh boy... I think it’s because I’m not in control. So I would say my fear comes from the feeling, or not being, in control.

7. What makes you sad?

Sad people, abject poverty and sad stories.

8. When and where were you the happiest?

Every time I fell in love. So, it must be the day my daughter was born.

9. What was the most extravagant thing you’ve done in your life?

Diving with sharks and snowboarding on the Olympic downhill slope (the first day I learned to ride!!)

10. What living person do you most admire?

For me it might be  MS Dhoni, who is an Indian cricket captain. He has a kind of Cinderella story. India doesn’t have many Cinderellas, but I think he is one. He is still quite young, he took the captainship when he was very young, in a very hierarchical society. He is the best leader of people, surely in sports. I like his leadership as he is always very humble. He did not start from a cricket family or in an environment in a country where one true religion is cricket, but he always remains level-headed. Even though he is making some $10 million a year, he is always so humble and so levelheaded; he leads the team not by power. He doesn’t like shouting; he guides people mentally, with very small gestures, but with a lot of encouragement. As a result, the team is now Number One in the world rankings.

Also with respect to sports figures, love Andre Agassi – for the way he changes his life style over the years, for his values and for his humanity

11. What living person do you most despise?

Everyone who takes advantage of somebody else; everyone in power who takes advantage of humans. Mean people.

12. What is your most treasured possession?

My shoes. (Well, not really:))

13. What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?

I suppose my boots, knife and a zippo would be useful. And if I had electricity, I would bring, my Mac.

14. What activities help you to cope with stress?

There are some activities that help me a lot, like sports or making art puzzles. I have just finished a Miro and a Dali. I also like reading, and good wine with good friends along good music.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?

I would come as someone with the power to change the world into a better place. Somebody very powerful or a rock star (yeah, I know…). If I were a thing, I would come as a car, maybe as a 911 2.7 RS Carrera from the 1960s. Or I would like to come back as a pen.

16. Which word do you tend to overuse?


17. What is your favorite gadget?

My Mac.

18. What does your dream dinner party look like? (occasion, venue, guests, menu, music or whatever is important to you)

It’s always my place, no special occasion, just my place. I would serve Indian and sea food and a good choice of wines (and of course,  Jack Daniels). I would also arrange some fancy stuff, music, 1970s rock, some psychedelic later on in the night…

19. What is your dream to live to see?


20. What would you do with €1 million?

I would definitely take a break. (For a month or two).