Sculpting a Connected Culture: Insights From commercetools’ Chief People Officer

Chief People Officer Roxana Dobrescu is sculpting a culture — guided by intention, flexibility and a strong sense of community — that fosters individual and collective growth.

Written by Lucas Dean
Published on Nov. 13, 2023
Sculpting a Connected Culture: Insights From commercetools’ Chief People Officer
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Wet clay, in all of its malleability and undefined potential, holds promise. In a world where everyone can play the role of sculptor, the right touch and vision can create a masterpiece with the simplest of materials. 

At commercetools, Chief People Officer Roxana Dobrescu’s vision is shaping the future of company culture. 

“We're in a state of hypergrowth and have so many outstanding global talents with diverse backgrounds,” said Dobrescu. 

“Our culture is evolving — it's wet clay,” she continued. “We have a window of opportunity in which we can mold it to be what we aspire to become.”

At commercetools, a composable commerce platform that gives brands the flexibility and scalability to create innovative digital commerce experiences, this people leader understands the benefits that derive from a strong yet adaptable culture. Likewise, Dobrescu is committed to cultivating a dynamic environment that fosters both individual and collective growth. 

While the outward goal may be leading the digital commerce space, commercetools is equally dedicated to helping its own people evolve. Dobrescu recently sat down with Built In to share her vision. 


What’s your vision for leading your team?

I’m a catalyst for my team to get the resources and knowledge they need to be successful. I lead with a simple question, “How can I help?”

My vision for the People team is to be intentional. I want us to understand how each process or initiative will support the greater business. I believe in leading with data — without it, making smart decisions is just a matter of luck.

My vision for commercetools is to build a highly employee-centric organization, bold and distinctive, where our people cultivate their learning agility, find purpose and, ultimately, a community.


How do you build team culture? 

There are two elements that serve as cornerstones of our culture. The first is flexibility. 

Not only are the products and services we provide flexible, but we, as a community, are flexible. We are disrupting the industry, and we must be agile at our core. We’re flexible in our benefits, hybrid approach and sense of psychological safety. We encourage our staff to be curious, make errors, experiment and learn from their experiences. 


“We’re flexible in encouraging our staff to be curious, make errors, experiment and learn from their experiences.”


Connection is the second foundation of our culture. With employees from over 50 countries across 12 offices, in addition to our remote employees, how do we foster a sense of belonging? How do we make sure the culture sticks together? Connection is that glue — it’s all about people coming together and building community. 

This connection drove us to where we are today and will be instrumental in moving us forward. 

To keep our edge, we need to continue coming together.


Beyond building connections between team members, what career development opportunities does commercetools offer?

With the proliferation of generative AI in the workplace, soft skills are becoming more integral to career growth and success than hard skills. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for businesses to give their employees the resources they need to learn and grow in their careers. I’m proud of our learning and development program at commercetools. It’s a differentiating factor for us. 

Learning agility is a predictor for success, and I encourage everyone to be curious, embrace change and adopt a growth mindset. 

I’m a big fan of the 70-20-10 methodology of learning: 70 percent is attributed to learning by doing. 20 percent is dedicated to learning from your network, and the final 10 percent is spent on formal education such as trainings, seminars and conferences. 

At commercetools, we approach learning in a variety of ways. We offer an open learning and development fund for employees to continue their learning — in addition to regular trainings through our commercetools Academy and our mentorship program. 

We’ve also implemented a real-time culture of feedback to promote honest discussions, celebrate successes and create opportunities for growth.


commercetools employees bond in the Berlin office over food and drinks..


What is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining commercetools? 

Working at commercetools is an incredibly rewarding experience. We’re on a mission to disrupt the commerce technology space. Those who embark on this journey have an incredible opportunity to make their mark. Our employees are afforded ownership over their work and are given the runway to excel. 

The community at commercetools sets us apart. Here, you’ll find a network of people who are eager to teach you, support you, give you feedback and walk with you in your career journey. We truly are a village. 


What are you most excited about accomplishing with your team in the next year?

I’m excited about strengthening our community and evolving it further. In 2024, we are creating a platform to increase and accelerate the number of talented women in tech and in leadership roles. We are working relentlessly towards creating genuinely diverse teams in which differences are not just tolerated but embraced to create competitive advantages. It’s a joy and a privilege to see how much empowerment and support there is from all corners of our organization to continue building an open-minded work environment. Another project I am enthusiastic about is our upcoming Leadership Development Program, where we’ll refine our leadership principles and take our leaders on a journey of discovery and mastery.

What can I say, commercetools is not for the faint of heart. It’s for those who are ready to buckle up and get their hands dirty with rewarding work.



Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Commercetools

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