#160: From Mom of 3 to COO: The Unconventional Climb

On was born in the Swiss Alps with one goal: to transform the sensation of running. In 12 years, On has become a global sportswear brand, which continues to challenge “status quo”, through innovation, commitment to performance and sustainability, and passion to inspire people to explore, move, and dream. During Jiahui’s 8 years at On, the company grew its global team from 40 to 2,000, went public in 2021, and achieved revenue growth of 60 times to 1.2B swiss francs in 2022.

Before On, Jiahui had NO experience in supply chain, except for one month of night shift in a chocolate factory, and one course during MBA at Harvard Business School. She was once an assistant brand manager for M&M’s in Beijing, a stock trader at Merrill Lynch in Singapore, and a strategy and private equity consultant at Bain based in New York. As a mother of 2 (soon to be 3) small kids, Jiahui lives in Switzerland with her Chinese-speaking Swiss husband, who is the CEO of a local retail and real estate company.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Jiahui Yin: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How did Jiahui make a fast track to be a COO of a listed company
  • How does Jiahui manage family life with 2 kids and 3rd on the way, and a COO job in a competitive retail environment
  • Maintaining a young and innovative culture that is “not corporate but still corporate”
  • Promoting diversity to the team
  • Advice to young talents – three qualities

Show notes:

  • [4:02] How did you make a fast track to be a COO of a listed company? 
  • [8:11] We tried to do everything with a bit more human touch to everything kind of against the general sense of what the industry standard is. So that really attracted me- that whole philosophy and that whole entrepreneurial drive to do things differently. 
  • [9:17] How does it feel when attending supply chain conferences many times and they’re mostly male, much older than you, with long careers in the supply chain? Do you always feel different among them?
  • [10:11] I realized, “I actually look different from these people. That’s interesting. What is happening? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of diversity in this industry, or kind of what I do”. And throughout the years as well, somehow it’s a bit sad to see that thw industry is lacking diversity, especially on the on the top level.
  • [11:22] How do you promote diversity in your team?
  • [15:52] How do you maintain that culture of “not corporate, but still corporate?” And then keeping the tech startup entrepreneur mindset?
  • [17:42] You need extrovert and introvert, you need basically processes, but you also need kind of the the agility to actually change how you do things on a day to day basis. So we have to talk a lot about polarities. So I think that kind of active discussion is very important for us to keep the culture, but this is definitely a very important topic and it is not that easy.
  • [19:19] Being a COO, how do you manage family life with two kids and the third one coming? 
  • [19:51] It takes a village to raise a family. You never can do this alone. So I think it’s also important to admit that we all need a lot of help.
  • [23:33] What advice would you give to a young talents?
  • [24:11] Figure out your own kind of purpose and your strengths are very important. Second, learn from different people. And lastly, don’t be afraid of challenging the status quo.
  • [25:48] As the COO, what are the three qualities you want to see in young talent?
  • [25:54] I think definitely that whole growth mindset and that eagerness to learn is very important. if you can express yourself well and you have the courage to show your vulnerabilities and then you have the ability to understand other people. I think that’s a very important asset. Third, probably comes grit, having determination.

Quotes from the Episode:

About the Host:

The host, Fei Yu has over 15+ years of experience in Executive Search and Talent Acquisition & Management, gained from top-tier consultancy and premium executive search firms. She is an advocate of cross-cultural networking and has successfully organized and moderated public events.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

Related Episodes:

#157: Death of Globalization and Rise of Regionalization

#158: Leading with Authenticity and Integrity

#159: Logistics in Saudi Arabia and Development Vision for 2030




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