Humans of Hive – Stefano Salerno

Humans of Hive – Stefano Salerno

“It all starts with my father. He was a dreamer, a sommelier, a poet, and in his free time a professor at a local high school. His motto “live and let them live”. He had three passions: his family, his tennis club, and our amazing olive trees in Apulia. Since he was a sommelier, we were often hanging out with his friends in my hometown. One day he introduced to a friend – a Chief at an energy company near Ferrara. I decided to do my internship at his company. It ended up in me finding the true passion of my life, renewable energy. I fell in love at day zero.

I got my chartered engineering certificate and graduated. I got a job managing the construction of four 1 MW sites. At the time it seemed like one of the biggest portfolios; it makes me laugh thinking about where we are today. It took a year to build, connect and operate those four solar farms.

The market was booming so I decided to join an emerging EPC in Spain. They were strong on paper, but unfortunately, they weren’t successful. After a year the office was shut down. Remaining positive I applied the motto “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I jumped from the sinking boat, joining a top-notch EPC and O&M. But something was rumbling in my mind. What if I was still not on the right path? I was so curious about London, and as they say, “London’s Calling”.

I applied for a job. My four years of experience condensed to only a few minutes at the interview, but thankfully they put out an offer I couldn’t refuse. So, I was in the UK. Being in London is like being permanently on stage. The city was so full of people from everywhere, a city that never judges you, a city where you are always getting a new perspective. It was the best year of my life.

But I decided I needed change again. In the middle of one sleepless night, I came up with a solution – join forces with a former colleague. So, I did. We set up a development platform in India. After leaving the glory of India I took up another role. My network was growing. But I needed someone on my wavelength with the same vision. A risk-taker, willing to give me a blank slate to run with. And I landed here – Italy General Manager at Hive Energy.

It was love at first sight with Hive. Hive is a rare organisation, it’s so successful because there is one simple principle: share the success, be straight to point, and pay on time. This is especially important in my country where everything is slow and hyper bureaucracy is everywhere. We have been boosting the pipeline and we’re becoming a leader in Italian renewables. This is mostly due to the incredible team I work with. They are super bright and very efficient. There is no time for politics, no time for gossiping, it’s lean and clean. Hive is like a sailing boat, that’s how the CEO describes it. We love racing fast and we are winning the competition as best-in-class.

I recently started playing tennis again after inheriting my dad’s racket. I often think tennis is like life – you need to focus, never give up. Always believe in yourself because sooner or later you will start seeing results. I am sure my father would be proud of what I have built in these years, not just in my career but also my beautiful wife and my new son.”

Stefano Salerno – General Manager Italy