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Zhang Ruimin is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group, a position he assumed in 2000. He also holds the title of senior economist. As CEO, Mr. Zhang’s current goal is to further enhance Haier’s leadership in Chinese and global markets and strengthen the reputation of Haier’s brand worldwide.
In 1984, Zhang Ruimin was appointed director of the Qingdao Refrigerator Factory, a small, ailing collectively-owned factory in the Shandong province of China. Under his leadership and unique management philosophy, the company has since grown to become what is now the Haier Group, China’s leading home appliance brand, and one of the world’s largest home appliance makers, with a distribution presence in over 100 countries.
Mr. Zhang began the turnaround of Haier with an order to destroy 76 defective refrigerators, laying into one himself with a sledgehammer – now preserved for its symbolism in Haier’s museum. That singular act of destruction impressed on employees that poor quality would not be acceptable. He reinforced the message with an aggressive Western-style quality control program.
Mr. Zhang’s management philosophy is a blend of international management principles and Chinese wisdom, with innovation and excellence as its cornerstones. The philosophy is the driving force behind the motivation and enthusiasm of Haier’s staff of over 50,000 employees worldwide. Mr. Zhang acts as a role model for modern Chinese entrepreneurs, and his leadership philosophy and business acumen are widely admired, both in China and within the international business community.
Mr. Zhang holds an MBA degree from China Science and Technology University. He was born on January 5, 1949 in Laizhou, Shandong province, China. He is married and has a son.
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