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Georgia Venetsanakos

Georgia Venetsanakos

Corporate, Global Alliances, Services & Legal Strategy, VP

Melbourne, Australia

From below down under to the top of the game

Meet Georgia Venetsanakos. VP, Corporate, Global Alliances, Services & Legal Strategy

  • A Hitachi veteran of 20 years
  • Attorney for 30 years
  • Born and raised in Tasmania – the little island at the bottom of Australia

Small Island. Big Dreams.

One of the things about living on a small island, is that the moment you realize you live on one, you try to find ways to get off the island. As soon as I finished law school, I moved to mainland Australia and worked for two of the largest law firms in the country.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was far more difficult for female lawyers to progress to middle and senior ranks than it is now, and it was quite rare for law firms to have female partners who could be role models. I moved to an in-house legal role at 29 years of age, partly because I was discouraged about the prospects of promotion within the law firm, but also because I wanted to join a business team and to have a more active role in business decisions. I worked with a lot of people, a lot of men who were in their 50s, 60s. That had some interesting challenges. I constantly had to prove myself, not only as a woman, but also as a young lawyer. I spent a lot of time working on relationships with my colleagues, to build their confidence in my abilities and work. My mantras were, “always do as you say”, and “no excuses”!

I moved to MSN in Australia during the start of the dotcom boom. And I rode that dotcom wave for a few years until the dotcom bust. Though it was a crazy time, I worked quite hard for those years. I consolidated my skills, understood how to operate as a lawyer within a very dynamic company, to partner with the business to achieve its goals, to help protect against legal risk, but maintain a practical approach. The culture at MSN was different to my previous experiences. Many of my colleagues were my age and younger and it was a more diverse environment, with people of different racial backgrounds, better female representation and colleagues who were LGBTQ. It was creative, but full of challenging personalities. The CEO taught me a great deal about how to communicate with executives effectively. He was tough, but fair. The feedback was not always easy to hear, but I took it all on board. And then after the dotcom bust, I looked around and found the Hitachi opportunity.

I have been here for 20 years. I started off as the APAC General Counsel, sole lawyer in Asia Pacific. Then I moved to Santa Clara to look after our global channels and marketing organizations, and then on to Europe to transform the team. I moved back to Australia after a few years, to take up the APAC General Counsel role for the second time, now to build a new team from scratch. After the birth of my daughter, I took a step back to work as Legal Counsel in Hitachi’s ANZ business for a few years, working my way back up to my current global role, heading up the corporate legal team at Hitachi.

My Secrets to Success 

  • Tough Resilience – I’ve had amazing managers. But I’ve also had some very difficult ones. And they’ve all taught me something. Whether you have a bad manager or unsupportive team, you must learn to be resilient.
  • Power of Brevity – Brevity and tailoring to the audience is something that I’ve learned the hard way. Speak to be understood, not use legalese. Think about the audience every time you communicate. It’s about effective and simple communication.
  • Inspired leadership –  Leadership that builds trust and confidence keeps your team engaged. Lawyers have very high-pressure jobs, and it is really important to lead by example. Understand where you fit in the scheme of things and where you provide value. Be compassionate, be kind.

              Meet Our People            

Hear from our employees all over the world about the goals they’ve achieved, their career journeys and how life at Hitachi makes a difference.

The best thing about working in Hitachi is its importance on values, which makes it one of a kind.

Neella Dheekshita

IT Infrastructure Systems Administrator - Associate

Hyderabad, India

The Power of Learning from Scratch

Margarida Marques

VP. Portugal Country Lead & Head of Continental Europe

Lisbon, Portugal

An inclusive culture has always been intrinsic to Hitachi, which fosters self-authenticity. And I just love working in the team I am in

Bridie Arumugam

Client Partner, Sales FSI

London, United Kingdom