Features

Diego Di Giacomo – Puma Group

Hurdling over obstacles with persistence and compliance

Originally hailing from Bahía Blanca, a port city in southwest Argentina’s Buenos Aires province, Diego Di Giacomo grew up in a social and political environment that was constantly changing.

Di Giacomo credits his upbringing for instilling in him a steadfast drive to find solutions.

Diego Di Giacomo – Puma Group

Diego Di Giacomo | Regional Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Legal and Compliance | Puma Group

“During the last 40 years in Argentina, every 10 years we’ve found ourselves in a huge economic and political crisis,” says Di Giacomo, who now lives and works in Chile. “I am used to dealing with constantly changing environments. It has prepared me for the current crisis we are in now with COVID-19 and the constantly changing regulations.”

Now, as senior regional legal counsel and head of legal and compliance for Puma Group’s Latin American Region (based in Chile), Di Giacomo says he has the best of both worlds—enjoying Chile’s breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean on the weekends, while immersing himself in the highly demanding world of corporate legal on weekdays.

“It’s a nice balance,” he says. “I love the work, and I love where I live.”

Diego Di Giacomo – Puma Group

Headquartered in Santiago, one of largest cities in South America, Di Giacomo says his legal team is focused on the upheaval caused by COVID-19—with the aim of keeping the company on a stable path to growth.

“All the rules and regulations have been changing rapidly and constantly for all countries in the region due to the COVID crisis,” he says. “It’s a challenge for me, but I enjoy dealing with it. I am more motivated than paralyzed.”

Challenging the status quo

Before the pandemic, Puma’s Latin American region was earning more than 500 million euros in annual revenue. But the pandemic has forced the company to review its aggressive growth strategy—and embrace some exciting new initiatives, Di Giacomo says.

In 2021, Puma unveiled its newest brand campaign: “Only See Great.” According to Di Giacomo, the campaign will highlight the career paths of some of Puma’s most famous brand ambassadors.

“The idea is to explore each person’s path to greatness and how each responded to the pandemic,” he explains. “It’s a very exciting campaign—one we believe will help us grow our global presence.”

As head of compliance for the LATAM region, he is responsible for knowing the business of the companies Puma partners with—including its distributors. Puma holds partnerships with distributors in seven countries in the region.

Diego Di Giacomo – Puma Group

“These are our brand ambassadors in countries where we’re distributing products, so it’s very important that they live up to our legal and ethical standards,” Di Giacomo says.

To better understand and mitigate risks with the company’s third-party distributors, Puma has implemented new procedures and policies: business partner due diligence; antibribery and anticorruption measures; non-discrimination policies; and so on.

“The regulatory changes happening in Chile are like those in neighboring countries in the region,” Di Giacomo says. “However, every attorney on the legal team, including myself, has had to be well-versed in all regulations in the Latin American region.”

Growing with the business

Now in his second year at Puma, Di Giacomo’s focus is on growing and developing the legal team—while ensuring Puma’s LATAM legal department functions as a fundamental part of the company’s everyday business activities.

“I like the feeling of being a part of the business,” Di Giacomo says. “I try to avoid the idea that having a lawyer is something that will stop progress or slow down the process.”

His team in Latin America includes five lawyers and interns who provide legal advice primarily for Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. They oversee everything from commercial and corporate matters to privacy, advertising and consumer claims, as well as labor and employment law.

Diego Di Giacomo – Puma Group

Di Giacomo also supervises and coordinates legal matters concerning litigation, labor, tax, customs, civil and criminal cases, often working with external attorneys who provide the company with additional advice and regional expertise.

“In my role, I do feel truly honored to be part of this momentum that Puma is building,” Di Giacomo says. “That gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Together with my team, we’re helping the Puma family build a much larger presence in the region. The future of our business looks bright.”

Published on: June 30, 2021

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