Irina Paklova is the president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment – an entity that runs the business side of the Brooklyn Nets. This makes the Russian-born Paklova – who was the first Russian employee hired by Google when it expanded into that country – one of the few female executives in the NBA.
Recently, she was discussing with Grantland.com some of the challenges associated with her role and touched on something most people – no matter their profession – should find instructive: “All that stuff I slept through in business school — culture, building relationships — that is the important stuff. I would like to have the same culture from top to bottom. Now, 20 years out of business school, whatever it is, you realize that the most difficult part of business is actually managing people and creating that culture that everyone buys into so that you all feel like you’re a part of the same team.”