Roberto Blanda was born in 1970 in Rome, Italy. At the age of 12 he took up the sport of rowing, which he pursued for many years with much success. Aged 17, Blanda was selected for the Italian National Rowing Team. Just four years later, he was part of the squad that represented the country at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
His rowing prowess served him well in multiple arenas, not least of which was the offer of a scholarship to study at Seattle’s University of Washington. During his time in Seattle, Blanda competed in numerous Intercollegiate races whilst studying for his degree in Romance Linguistics and French.
After graduating cum laude, Blanda initially returned to Italy – he was selected once again for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 as part of the coxed eight team – before heading to England, where he read for a Master of Science degree in Educational Research at the prestigious Oxford University. He made college history by becoming the first and, to this day, only person of Italian heritage to be selected to row in the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, as part of the 1997 Blue Boat team.
Upon achieving his Masters degree, Roberto Blanda returned once more to his home country to take up a role as HR Manager at the company Servier Italy. Aged 29, Blanda was promoted to become HR Director of the company, a role he would embrace for a further five years. Parallel to this position, Blanda studied for and obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration.
The motor industry beckoned Roberto Blanda, and his career pathway led him to roles with both Toyota Italy and Mercedes-Benz Italy (part of the Daimler-Chrysler Group), working for the former as HR General Manager in Rome and the latter as the Corporate HR Director. Blanda than moved to the British American Tobacco Company in pursuit of his dream of an international career.
Blanda ended up in the position of Group Head of HR for Operations at BAT, having started at the company as HR Director and progressing through Global Head of Talent.
Today, Roberto Blanda lives and works in London as an organisational performance consultant. He is also undertaking a formal coaching course to cement his experience of working as a managerial trainer.