SHANGHAI—Gill Zhou, vice president of marketing, communications and citizenship at IBM Greater China and one of the most respected public relations professionals in the Chinese market, will be among the Individual Achievement SABRE Award recipients at our Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards dinner in Shanghai on September 18.
Zhou, one of the first PR executives in the region to assume broader responsibility as a chief marketing officer, has three critical roles at IBM: first, to continue to drive IBM business growth in the Greater China region, delivering new technologies, capabilities, experiences and insights to clients; second, to create markets by identifying new client demands and needs; and third, to shape IBM’s corporate character, ensuring the authenticity and longevity of the IBM brand in the region.
Zhou has been a key figure in developing the local market and cultivating the company’s corporate culture since she first joined IBM in 2001 as executive of communications. In March, 2007, she was promoted to vice president of Asia Pacific Communications, the first Chinese national to hold that distinction, and was named vice president of brand, communications and citizenship for the IBM Greater China group in 2009.
She has played an instrumental role in some of IBM’s most significant business moves including Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's PC Division in 2005, the launch of IBM Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities in 2009, and IBM's Centennial celebrations in 2011. She is also a member of IBM’s integration and values team, a specially selected group of 300 IBM executives around the world.
She is also a well-recognized role model for career women in China. While she was with Motorola in 2000, she was given the “Star Woman of Motorola” Gold Award for her significant contribution in making the company a top 10 brand in China. In 2004, she was named one of the top 10 women in China’s IT industry by a joint committee of All China Women’s Federation, the Ministry of Information Industry and China Computer World. The same year she was voted one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in China by Trends magazine. And in 2012, Advertising Age honored her with its first “Chinese Women to Watch” award.
Says Scott Kronick, president of Ogilvy Public Relations in China, “Gill is a role model for women in business in China and for all of us in communications. She has led IBM's transformation here and through the sale of the PC Division to Lenovo to the launch of Smarter Planet she has worked to deepen IBM's roots in the local community every step of the way. She is one of the most strategic thinkers in our business in this region.”
Zhou published her own book “Bloom” at the end of 2012. The book describes the journey of her success, from the bottom of the corporate ladder all the way to top management positions at IBM. .Just months after its publication, “Bloom” became a bestseller among new career books on Dangdang.com.