Vanja Vlaski

Vanja Vlaski

Global Head of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity at Syngenta

Syngenta
Global Head of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity

Born in Croatia, Vanja Vlaski moved to Canada with his family in his late teens, where he attended college in 1996, though unsure of what discipline to follow. “Until that moment, I don't think I had ever touched a computer in my life, but someone suggested that IT was the up-and-coming thing, so why not try that?” 

Vlaski went for it and graduated in 1999 from a college in Ontario, just as the IT boom was at its height.

Once he left college, he went straight into work, performing a number of jobs. “I worked for a succession of startups in Canada and Germany as a Java Engineer until that bubble burst. Then I found myself in steadier corporate jobs, first within a pharma industry then in the agrichemical business. 

“Looking back, I have done all kinds of different things, with every single one of them having a strong technology component. From being an engineer/programmer, taking development roles in Finance and HR, AND running transformational programmes to lead roles managing end-to-end IT and Digital for different region/business units. That variety of experience across Syngenta businesses is what I like doing. It is what makes me excited and motivated.

“And I have done these things in different cultural environments. I've made my home in a lot of different places since I left Croatia. I lived in Switzerland for 17 years, seven years in Canada, and I've been in the United States now for four years. All of these places leave a mark and influence you one way or another.” 

Though Vlaski pays tribute to individual mentors and coaches that helped him in specific areas of business over the years, he says the cultural variety of the people and places he has encountered have shaped his life, his personality and his profile just as much.

So what about his approach to leadership? 

“I'll be honest with you, I don’t know that I am always the best in pinpointing my leadership strengths and/or weaknesses. Leadership is to some extent also tied to role requirements; it can be situational, being able to adjust your style and approach is critical. In my current role, coming from a strong technical background helps tremendously! However, being action-biased while fully present for the team, having them empowered to execute and bring decisions, is a balance I am looking for. 

“This, coupled with experience from different business units, functions and geographies, helps me keep Infra&Sec in touch with where SYN is headed. 

A picture emerges of someone who really appreciates the value of knowing enough to be able to delegate – and switch off. “I played basketball all my life, and am still somewhat active in it when time from family allows it!​​​​​​​

Read the full story HERE


Syngenta
Syngenta
Our Partners
Nordcloud
View profile
Share

Featured Interviews

Featured

Brigadier Stefan Crossfield

Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer at British Army

Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer, British Army

Read More

Bob Leek

Chief Information Officer at Clark County, Nevada

Chief Information Officer at Clark County, Nevada

Read More
In the end, all of our strategies and approaches have the essential and ultimate goal of improving the lives of the people in our community.
Bob Leek
Chief Information Officer at Clark County, Nevada

Mark Foulsham

Chief Operating Officer at Kensington Mortgages

At the heart of Kensington Mortgages' digital transformation strategy is the customer – in particular, understanding their unique circumstances and needs.

Read More

Andres Andreu

Chief Information Security Officer at 2U

Andres Andreu, Chief Information Security Officer at 2U, a leading EdTech player, explains why security is critical to the present & future of education

Read More

Martin Baschnagel

CTO and Group Chief Enterprise Architect at Migros Group

Martin Baschnagel, CTO & Group Chief Enterprise Architect, Migros Group, reflects on his career, proudest achievements & future trends in the tech industry

Read More

Brigadier Stefan Crossfield

Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer at British Army

Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer, British Army

Read More