Zhang Ruimin, one of the top 50 global management thinkers, the world renowned enterpriser, founder of Haier Group, Secretary of the Party Committee of Haier Group, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group. Zhang Ruimin is the alternative member of the 16th, 17th and 18th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China.
In recognition of his achievements in management innovation, Zhang Ruimin has received many awards from the international management field including "Inspired Leadership Award", "IMD Management Thought Leader", "Asia Brand Eternal Spiritual Leadership Award", "Dale Carnegie Leadership Award" and Fortune "The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders". In 2015, Zhang Ruimin received the “Best Practices Award” by American Best Practices Institute (BPI); he is also awarded the prestigious “Ideas into Practice" by Thinkers50 known as the "Oscars of Management Thinking" and was selected into the 2015 Thinkers50 ranking of the top 50 global management thinkers at the same time. This makes Zhang Ruimin the only Chinese entrepreneur to have won two Thinkers50 honors.
In 1984, Zhang Ruimin took the post as Director of Qingdao Refrigerator Factory – predecessor of Haier, thus starting the prologue of Haier’s entrepreneurship. Through 31 years of development, with his innovative entrepreneurial spirit and advanced strategic decision-making in conformity with the trend of the times, he has turned a small collectively-owned factory with a 1.47m Yuan loss into a global enterprise with global turnover of 188.7b Yuan (2015). In 2015, Haier achieved a global turnover of 188.7 billion yuan, and a total profit of 18 billion yuan with a 20% year-on-year growth; the online trade volume reached 157.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 188%. According to the 2015 world's major home appliances survey data from Euromonitor, Haier tops Global Major Appliance Brand rankings with No. 1 retail volume for seventh consecutive year. In 2015, Haier entered the list of World Brand Top 100 and was ranked No 1 in the global white goods industry.
In the management practice, Zhang integrates the essence of China’s traditional culture with western modern management concept, insisting on “taking in everything, growing innovatively and having one’s own style”. His innovative management philosophies and exploration has provided the global management circle with business models and cases fitting with the times and also forged highly competitive Haier culture. From OEC management of "accomplish what's planned each day and improve on what's accomplished the previous day", to "Market Chain" management having everyone facing the market, to the win-win model of Rendanheyi in the Internet age, Zhang Ruimin has won worldwide appreciation from the global management for his relentless innovation. The case of "Haier Culture Activating Stunned Fish" made its way into the case library of Harvard University and Zhang Ruimin became the first Chinese entrepreneur giving speech in Harvard.
Zhang Ruimin believes that successful enterprises move with the times. The so-called successful enterprises only result from keeping pace with the times. As the organizational architect, he led Haier to have undergone five strategic transformations. In 2012, Haier Group entered into the fifth Strategy Phase - Networking Strategy Phase, Zhang Ruimin's management thinking once again broke the shackles of traditional management theory and upgrade the "win-win model of Rendanheyi" to "Rendanheyi 2.0 - ecosystems for co-creation and winning together", in which, the definitions of "ren" and "dan" have changed from "employees" to "stakeholders" and from "user value" to "user resources" respectively, and "win-win" has been upgraded to "all-win". The ultimate goal is to add value for all stakeholders in the ecosystem. Therefore in the Internet age, Haier has transformed from an enterprise that manufactures household appliances to a platform that incubates entrepreneurs for the whole society. Haier aims to become a networked enterprise which overturns its self-contained enclosed system and fits into the Internet as a node that can connect various resources, with a view to building a new platform for co-creation and winning together to add value for all stakeholders.
Haier's "win-win model of Rendanheyi" was awarded the "Innovation Results of State-Level Enterprise Management Modernization", which is regarded as the Oscar for China's Enterprise Management Innovation. Haier's innovation on management models has also been recognized by western management and business practice as forward thinking. In 2012, Zhang Ruimin was invited to give a speech at Spain IESE Business School and Swiss IMD Business School; in 2013, Zhang was invited as the only Chinese entrepreneur to deliver a keynote speech at the 73rd annual meeting of AOM; in 2015, Zhang was invited as the only Chinese entrepreneur to deliver a speech at the Seventh Esteemed Global Drucker Forum; all his speeches have been well received with great enthusiasm.Zhang Ruimin is the only Chinese business leader being recognized with the Legend in Leadership Award by the Yale School of Management in 2016.