Career Story: Mari Sbarcea

By Laura Garrett

Mari Sbarcea’s career journey has been an exciting and dynamic one, filled with diverse experiences and growth. However, it was her entry into the world of returns that truly set her on a remarkable trajectory. 

Twelve years ago, Mari joined Britcom, a prominent company specializing in handling and refurbishing returns in Romania. Britcom collaborated closely with EU and UK manufacturers to promote a circular economy by taking used products, refurbishing them, and reselling them at discounted prices, thereby extending the lifetime of these items. 

In 2014, Britcom underwent a significant transformation when it was acquired by the RLG Group, a turning point that would shape Mari’s career even further. During this time, the company also acquired Cycleon, a strategic move that opened up new avenues for growth and development. Mari was given the opportunity to work on a joint project between Britcom and Cycleon, focusing on the development of a customer support department. 

Two years later, in 2016, Britcom became a part of Cycleon, marking a pivotal moment in Mari’s professional journey. Together with Jelle Schoenmaker (now currently the Managing Director), a valued colleague and mentor, she embarked on an ambitious mission to merge the management of returns logistics with the refurbishing process for manufacturers. Their vision was clear:

“We will take care of your returns from consumers and bring those that can be repaired to Romania to get refurbished”. 

However, in 2018, the company’s strategy shifted, and the company ceased refurbishing for manufacturers. It was decided that the Romanian faction of Cycleon would fully transition into a customer support department for Cycleon’s operations. She played a crucial role in creating an efficient organizational structure for the customer service department and assumed responsibility for several projects previously managed in the Netherlands. 

Over the years, Mari’s impact continued to expand. She played a key role in establishing robust financial and operational structures globally. Recognizing the significance of technology, she spearheaded the development of an IT team, bringing in skilled software developers to enhance the company’s technological capabilities. Mari also introduced new roles within the Cycleon organizational structure, enabling the company to adapt and thrive in a rapidly evolving industry. 

After being acquired by Reconomy Group, Cycleon was renamed ReBound in 2022. Today, Mari holds the title of General Manager of the Romanian entity of ReBound. In her current role, she oversees legal compliance, manages the Romanian team, and leads strategic projects within Romania, including implementation and other essential business strategies. Throughout her journey, Mari acknowledges the invaluable support she received from Jelle and other colleagues, past and present, who recognized her potential and provided guidance along the way. Reflecting on her enduring commitment to the company, Mari expresses her motivation for staying with the company for over a decade.

“Why I am still here after 12 years is the fact that it’s really challenging. It’s never the same thing repeating day after day or year after year. It’s really about creating connections and adapting to the changing culture as the company has evolved. This has helped me to grow professionally and personally.” 

Mari acknowledges that her career at the company has been characterized by constant reinvention, embracing various roles, departments, and stakeholders, making her feel as if she has been rehired multiple times throughout her twelve years of service. From exploring different professions to finding her calling in the returns industry, she has evolved alongside the changing landscape of her organization. Through her strategic vision, leadership, and commitment to growth, Mari has left an indelible mark on the company, driving its success and positioning herself as an inspiration to others aspiring to carve out their own unique paths in their professional lives. 


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