Bridging Cultures & Building Brands: Marketing CEO Emily Chang Masters Both
Emily Chang is a master bridge builder – and it’s made her a wildly successful leader in the US and in Asia. As the CEO of McCann Worldgroup China, she bridges US and Chinese cultures to establish brands that are thriving, global, and remarkably agile. We’ll talk about the differences between the two markets, and how brands can succeed in the notoriously challenging Chinese market. We’ll also talk about another kind of bridge—between people—and how Emily literally opens her home to those in need and how that led her to the concept of social legacy, the topic of her bestselling book Spare Room. We’ll also talk about capacity and how to take control of your time – perhaps the most valuable commodity of all. There’s a lot to learn from this leader who, prior to McCann, was a top exec at Starbucks China, InterContinental Hotels Group China, Procter & Gamble, and Apple.
Having catalyzed a turnaround for McCann Worldgroup China in just over a year, Emily Chang is a true changemaker whose drive for O+O branded experiences and cross-cultural team leadership have delivered record-high results for the agency.
Emily has always positioned creativity and innovation at the center of her business strategy, even in her first two decades leading client-side businesses. So, when she joined McCann Worldgroup China as CEO in Sep 2020, Emily was thrilled to help brands deliver delightful, integrated customer experiences that earn a meaningful role in people’s lives. When working as the CMO for Starbucks China, Emily was responsible for marketing, sales, loyalty, customer engagement, and the digital ecosystem (ecommerce, loyalty, payments, partnerships). Her teams tripled digital tender across stores, helped open the Starbucks Shanghai Roastery, and launched the brand’s delivery program.
Before joining Starbucks, Emily was Chief Commercial Officer for InterContinental Hotels Group, Greater China, where she led all commercial functions across Greater China. Looking after 320+ hotels and a team of 5,200 Sales & Marketing members, Emily spearheaded the market share turnaround of six hotel brands and the contribution mix of three loyalty programs. She also invested in new BI and Digital capabilities and differentiated the group with a focus on Branded Guest Experiences. Prior to IHG, Emily worked for a combined 15 years at Procter & Gamble and Apple.
As a champion of DE&I, she is committed to creating a positive culture of belonging at work and in fact, sees Conscious Inclusion as a core business strategy. Emily injects a ‘positive spirit’ in the workplace, prioritizing wellness, fun and active engagement. Among other significant improvements, McCann has seen “I see opportunity for potential growth” increase +88% and “My well-being is cared for” improve +70% over the last three bi-annual surveys.
In 2022, Emily was awarded “Women To Watch Greater China” by Campaign Asia, one of the most prestigious recognitions in the marketing & advertising industry. She also contributes time to support the industry’s development by delivering lectures like at Tsinghua University, AmCham, and FBIF, and judging awards like New York Festivals AME Awards. Emily sits on the board of SOS Children’s Villages and recently published a best-selling book called “The Spare Room,” also the topic of her first TEDx Talk. She enjoys spending time with Minki, her husband of 22 years, Laini, her thirteen-year-old daughter, Holly Berry their rescue dog, and Scarlett the pygmy hedgehog.