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Irina Pavlova: 'I think of myself as the biggest fan'

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Brooklyn Nets

In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Irina Pavlova talks about a lot of her key duties as president of ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment, but highlights one she has long seen as among her most important.

"I think of myself as the biggest fan. So I try to pay attention to what other fans are doing and how they perceive our game-day experience.

"One thing I’m always focused on is the music and if people are dancing in the stands or if they’re just sitting there texting, then I know we’re not doing something right ’cause I want everyone up there having a good time."

As readers of NetsDaily are aware, Pavlova has gone out of her way to welcome fans, some in dire situations, who've traveled vast distances to attend games. And she's done it without publicity.

Pavlova spoke as well as her boss' management style, which she admits is unlike the typical American CEO.

"[Mikhail Prokhorov] hires people … and has them do their jobs. There’s no daily phone calls, no weekly reporting. If I need his advice or input on something, I know where to reach him and he always calls back and makes time for a meeting. And … if he has an opinion on something, he definitely lets me know."

As for being a woman in a male-dominated workplace, she did not mince words.

"It’s definitely a very fine line and a very delicate balance for women in the workplace. I found that personally that if I’m nice, it’s often mistaken for weakness and people try to walk all over me and take advantage of me being nice. And then when you become a little more firm you’re branded — I can say bitch, right? — you’re branded bossy.

"I am probably branded bossy more than I am branded nice, but that’s the price of getting things done sometimes."

And if you're going in for a job interview with her, don't tell her what you don't want to do ... or suggest you want to work only with Jay-Z!  She has strong feelings in that regard.