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Gina Cruceru, HR Director at KMG International (Rompetrol): Thoughts after 20 years in corporations

Gina Cruceru, Group Human Resources Director of KMG International (Rompetrol), has been contributing to the field of Human Resources for over 17 years, operating in dynamic industries such as FMCG, Retail, and Oil & Gas. Gina has applied experience in various areas, including HR strategy, organizational design, organizational culture, leadership development, recruitment and selection, performance management, recognition, and reward. For nearly 13 years, Gina has been part of the KMG International (Rompetrol) organization, during which she has developed the aforementioned elements. Alongside colleagues within the Group, she focuses on nurturing new leaders and generations of professionals in the energy field, promoting a culture of conscious choices and community contribution. Gina advocates for a leadership style based on empathy, respect, and responsibility, with a mission to generate results for both people and the organization, a vision she conveys through various actions. Additionally, Gina is an active supporter of community impact projects, with a focus on education projects, serving as an “Ambassador for Education Transformation in Romania.

C&B: Describe your activity!
Gina Cruceru: I joined the KMG International (Rompetrol) Group almost 13 years ago, during which time I have been actively involved in transforming organizational culture and enhancing engagement, as well as revitalizing the Rompetrol community. Together with the Human Resources team and with the support of other functions within the Group, we focus on developing leadership and new generations of professionals. The main goal is to develop an effective and authentic leadership style that emphasizes both professional and individual growth. Our activity is complex, considering that we operate in multiple countries within the European Union and the region. We manage to cover the entire value chain of the industry in a Group with a long history and a diverse range of over 200 unique specializations. At Rompetrol, we have representatives from all demographic generations, and each generation has its own needs, aspirations, and motivations.

Investments in people support the continuity and development of any company. For the KMG International (Rompetrol) Group, this is a major principle of action, as we provide our colleagues with opportunities for development and acquisition of the necessary skills to thrive in a context governed by transformation, especially in an industry such as energy.

I strongly believe that a strong management team is a responsible one, building for tomorrow’s generations, considering that the results of such efforts are visible in the medium and long term.

Our development and mentoring programs (“Together We Grow Traineeship,” “Digital Summer Traineeship,” succession programs for roles within the organization, “Rompetrol School – The first step towards the refining profession“, internships for high school students and students from the local market or from other states) are long-standing initiatives aimed at preparing our future colleagues.

We aimed to encourage more and more members of the organization to get involved beyond their job descriptions and to contribute with their energy to projects that become personal missions and fulfill them through this higher motivation. I congratulate my colleagues who understand the importance of mentoring, simultaneously with their professional and personal development. Alongside all colleagues in the organization, we grow together not just a team or a company, but a community, generation by generation.

C&B: What’s the story of your evolution?
Gina Cruceru: It’s a beautiful story, I would say, of a girl at the beginning of her journey who wanted to contribute to a better world and who put her knowledge, energy, and resources into achieving this goal. I focused on education and began this journey as an Olympian in Philosophy, Psychology, and Romanian Language and Literature, while also engaging in social activities. I finished high school with a symbolic event, where I received the key to the school, and one of the teachers I respected and admired told me that I was the leader of my generation, which motivated and empowered me, somehow awakening the consciousness that I had many things to accomplish.
Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to art and the beauty in people. I’ve always had a curiosity for understanding human nature and the pursuit of truth on a conceptual level, as well as for human evolution. These interests led me to study Philosophy at university, where I learned to think deeply about things and not settle for what seems good, beautiful, and true at first glance, to understand different systems of thought, concepts we operate with, and overall the understanding of the world. I’ve had the privilege of meeting people who have guided me in my personal and professional development.
During college, I decided to apply for an internship at a multinational company in the field of human resources, even though I didn’t exactly know what this field entailed. Intuition guided me, and thus I began to discover the activities within the universe of human resources, realizing that this field is part of my personal mission.
Today, after 20 years in corporations, I still aspire to be an authentic leader who chooses to highlight people. I believe that every individual deserves to shine through their skills and talents, which we leverage through collaboration and common goals. In my daily role, I strive to cultivate quality and authentic relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and cooperation. Thus, I hope to become an authentic leader and contribute to real change within the organization.

C&B: What were your visions in childhood/adolescence, and what are they now?
Gina Cruceru: I was born optimistic and believe in people. This trait has greatly helped me navigate through life’s challenges. When things were tough, I put even more personal energy and attention into transforming the status quo and creating a better reality. I’m grateful that I’ve maintained my optimism and can use it to serve those around me, whether personally or professionally. A significant difference in my vision now compared to childhood/adolescence is that I’ve realized that our lives are not just about the everyday and achieving success, but about a meta-objective – to make humanity work, taking care of what matters to us: people, the planet, and the businesses we engage in.
In my vision of contribution, values matter and are essential to guide our lives – they are essentially lighthouses on the journey of life that guide us to our destination through our daily actions.

C&B: What are the principles of life and activity that you use?
Gina Cruceru: In my activity, I always adhere to the principles of integrity, respect, and transparency. I believe in open communication and building relationships based on trust and collaboration. I also firmly believe that an authentic and empathetic leader can inspire and mobilize teams to achieve remarkable performance.

C&B: Have pandemics and economic crises influenced your activity?
Gina Cruceru: The pandemic and economic crises have undoubtedly had an impact on how I conduct my activities. These have been challenging and testing times, and adaptability to change and effective communication with teams have certainly been at the top of my priority list. However, despite all the difficulties, I have viewed these periods as an opportunity for learning and development. I’ve sought creative solutions, explored new ways of collaboration, and learned to leverage available resources more efficiently. During the pandemic, our Human Resources strategy “Together We Grow People” was developed.

C&B: Can you tell us amusing situations from your activity?
Gina Cruceru: The ones that come to mind are related to the employer’s name; we’ve had many amusing situations where candidates confused the company either on the phone, during interviews, or changed the company’s name with invented ones.

C&B: You have a potential client/partner/future colleague/employer in front of you and you have to use a short sentence.
Gina Cruceru: Together We Grow People.

C&B: What advice do you have for those at the beginning or undecided?
Gina Cruceru: I would suggest following their passion/calling and being open to new opportunities and challenges. Every experience, no matter how insignificant it may seem at first, can represent an important opportunity for learning and development, both personally and professionally.
They should invest in education and always seek to learn and improve. Constant improvement of skills and knowledge will make them more competitive in the job market and open up more opportunities for career advancement.

C&B: What is your opinion about society and its evolution?
Gina Cruceru: I believe that society is in a continuous process of evolution and transformation, and our role as leaders and professionals is to adapt and contribute to building a better future for all. And here I speak beyond my role; each of us can make the best decisions based on their personal context and life stage.
With a responsible, sustainable approach, we can positively influence the direction in which society and the environment are heading.



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