Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out

By Oliver Smith 15 June 2017
Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out Group. Image: Time Out.

These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world.

From The Pool’Jo Morrell, to Starling’s Anne Boden and co-founder Brent Hoberman, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

Meet Julio Bruno

This morning we’re talking to Julio Bruno, Group CEO of Time Out, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

Bruno joined in 2015 and quickly took the company public the following year in order to raise funds, fuel international growth and expand the group’s focus on e-commerce, advertising and rolling out Time Out Market.

Today Time Out‘s publications are read by over 156m people across 108 cities and 39 countries.

Prior to Time Out he held senior roles at TripAdvisor, TravelPort and Regus, he studied international business at the University of London and speaks four languages.

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked him how he gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

I get up at around 7am and check my emails as messages from the USA would have arrived late at night.

I also check the news online as I like to keep up with world news as well as my Twitter feed (@juliobruno11) and Time Out’s diverse Twitter accounts around the world to find out what is going on in our cities.

I then head to our Time Out offices in Soho – I am lucky enough to be able to walk to the office, it’s a great luxury.

During my 25 minute walk I pass by all the great things we write about at Time Out: theatres, restaurants, bars, cinemas, galleries.

I’m a huge fan of podcasts. I listen to them while I walk to the office in the morning. TED Talks and NPR’s Hidden Brain are fascinating. They make science and technology exciting, compelling topics. I also enjoy podcasts like This American Life and Stuff You Should Know.

When visiting one of our offices in other cities such as New York or Lisbon, I always stay in hotels close by so that I can enjoy a short walk through the city in the morning and in the evening.

What smartphone do you have?

I’ve got two smartphones: an iPhone 7 Plus Space Grey 128 GB for the UK and an iPhone 6 Gold 128 GB for the USA.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

I used to use Todoist and Google Keep but these days I also have the help of my personal assistant to manage my day. Being in a public company takes a toll on your time and you need to be aware of how you manage it!

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day? And broadly speaking, who are these people?

As Group CEO I meet and talk with lots of people in a day.

I have both internal and external meetings, some of which are video meetings (I prefer them to conference calls) as we have a large international team.

I meet regularly with our CFO, Richard Boult, to discuss our financial performance as well as with the two CEOs of our two business divisions, Time Out Market, Didier Souillat, and Time Out Digital, Christine Petersen, to discuss company matters and strategy.

I am frequently liaising with the Board seeking advice, using them as a sounding board as well as keeping everyone up to date on Time Out matters. Meeting existing and potential investors as well as advisors is part of running a PLC [public limited company]. I also enjoy catching up with heads of functions of Time Out and with organisations, large and small, who want to partner or collaborate with Time Out globally.

When I’m not in formal meetings, my door is open so I get to talk with many of my amazing team members. So, on average, I meet with between 15 to 25 people a day in physical and e-meetings.

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

I am interested in everything so I read a lot of different books. I recently read a book by Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower. It’s about an American dystopian future that has eerie connotations to our current society with the main themes of survival, poverty, and religion.

It made me think about the life style and values that we hold dear and how easily these can be taken away, and reminded me to not take your life for granted!

The book I have probably enjoyed most in my life was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, for pure reading pleasure. It’s probably the best book I have ever read, bar Don Quixote by Cervantes.

And of course, I read Time Out. In 40 of our 108 cities we now publish magazines and I try to read all of them. I admire the teams’ work. It is inspirational and of such high quality, and I enjoy knowing what is going on in cities such as Tokyo, Austin, Lisbon or London.

What advice would you give for people who are eager to get into your industry?

Don’t wait for someone to offer you the job you want. Find the company you want to work for and get in front of them.

Be prepared, have a view, have a plan. That is what I did to get this gig. And it certainly helps to be passionate about the brand.

We are in media and entertainment, so our industry is very varied – we have editors who write and review the best places in a given city, we have engineers developing new Time Out apps, web, technology, and we have sales professionals and online marketers.

So my key advice is: don’t wait to be found, don’t be afraid of constant change and pick a business you are passionate about. Then, be the best at it!

To be truly great at what you do, you must love it. If you don’t, you won’t be truly great at it. Keep learning all your life. Never think you know everything just because ‘you’ve made it’. Continuous education is a must today.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

I often leave the office between 8 and 9pm, unless I am going to the theatre, an exhibition, or dinner. I try to enjoy city life as much as I can – it is refreshing and exciting to experience all the new things global cities have to offer.

At Time Out we work for those cities so we need to get out there and support the businesses and venues in them. If I can, I like to go to the theatre, the cinema, try new restaurants, keep up with the arts – Time Out is about making the most of the city and it is something I live and breathe.

However, we are present in many cities that never sleep across many time zones so I do pick up emails in the evening – we are moving very fast and I just know that sometimes people need a response from me quickly. I keep reading and sending emails at night as I have teams around the world working at different times.

Although I work hard, I am able to weave it into my life so there is a work/ life balance.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.