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Zhang Ruimin

Zhang Ruimin

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Haier Group


Speakers > Biography

English | Chinese

Zhang Ruimin is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Haier Group. Formerly the deputy manager of the Qingdao Home Appliance Company, Mr. Zhang was appointed director of the Qingdao Refrigerator Factory in 1984. Since then, his “Branding Strategy” has transformed Haier from a small, collectively-owned factory operating in the red, into a multinational corporation which last year posted a 16.2 billion USD global turnover.

Zhang Ruimin combines aspects of traditional culture with global business management experience to create a competitive corporate environment at Haier that still retains its Chinese characteristics. He has established the “All-around Optimized Management Approach” (OEC), the “Market Chain” management system”, and the “Integration of Individuals and Goals” concept to build Haier into a company defined by its operational excellence. Zhang Ruimin’s management systems have been used as cases studies related to business mergers, financial management, and corporate culture by professors at Harvard Business School, University of Southern California, Lausanne’s IMD (Switzerland), INSEAD, and Kobe University.  A case study detailing Haier’s “Market Chain” management system was made a part of the European Union’s case study library. As the information era continues, Haier has optimized its process of innovation, building a business model that maintains operational excellence in an initiative known as Haier’s “Information Innovation Revolution”.

In 1996, Zhang was awarded the Five-Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Science, and in 1997 was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Asia Weekly. In 1999, Zhang ranked 26th among the Global 30 Most Respected Entrepreneurs, according to the Financial Times.  In September 2002, the organization United Way International named him a Global Business Leader and an Outstanding Donor, the only entrepreneur from China to ever receive such an honor. In August 2004, he was ranked 6th among Asia’s 25 most influential business figures by Fortune and in November 2005, the Financial Times listed Mr. Zhang 26 out of the world’s 50 most respected business leaders; China’s sole representative on the list.

Zhang Ruimin and his team have built Haier from humble roots as a local collective into a multinational powerhouse. Mr. Zhang’s goal is to make Haier an internationally recognized brand name. To that end, the company is now in the process of setting up the necessary systems and operational framework to meet the needs of consumers from around the world and to promote Haier’s corporate image in the global marketplace.

Zhang Ruimin was born on January 5, 1949 in Laizhou, Shandong. He earned an MBA from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1995. Mr. Zhang is a member of the Chinese Communist Party 16th and 17th Central Committee’s alternate committee.