Episode 6 Season 1

Embracing Reinvention

with Raul Leal, Board Member, Virgin Group · May 18, 2021


Embracing Reinvention with with Raul Leal, Board Member, Virgin Group

May 18, 2021

Embracing Reinvention with Raul Leal, Board Member, Virgin Group

That Raul Leal left his role at the helm of Virgin Hotels this year to find the next challenge should come as no surprise. “It’s a company that believes in reinvention,” Leal says.

Leal was first hired as CEO of Virgin Hotels, more than a decade ago, to turn a PowerPoint Presentation into a reality. Today he sits on the Virgin Group Board of Directors, providing strategic oversight to the full portfolio of Virgin companies.

In this episode of Beyond the Bottom Line, Leal describes just how much trust Sir Richard Branson places in his team. “His philosophy is really to hire the most talented people and let them do their thing,” shares Leal. “He always gives credit to the people that are actually doing the job.”

Part of Virgin Group’s leadership strategy has always been to push for a point of view. When it came to matters concerning the planet, the team’s POV was that implementing CSR quotas wasn’t nearly enough. They wanted to actually educate their teams on what a carbon footprint was, how to calculate it, and how to shrink it, in order to then take that knowledge home to their families and their communities and effect real change. “Knowledge is power,” Leal says. “I think a lot of time, that information stays at the top, and it needs to come down.”

The planet is just one element of the three Ps that guide Virgin Group’s vision: people and partners round out the trifecta. So when Leal was building the Virgin Hotels team from the ground up, finding people who bought into the purpose was P1. In this tell-all interview, he shares his strategy behind a true people-first company, his predictions for a post-pandemic hospitality sector, and more.