Jo WILKINSON

Jo is a versatile leader and entrepreneur, who leveraged the experience that she gained over 10 years on the Asia Pacific leadership team of a Fortune 50 company to start three successful businesses. She has turned around struggling product divisions, built sales teams to acquire new business and implemented transformation projects covering thousands of people, multiple IT systems and hundreds of processes in order to accelerate growth. 

 

Jo started her career as an engineer designing specialist materials for the aerospace industry but soon decided that she wanted to build a career managing and leading teams across all business functions. Her first managment roles were in manufacturing operations, logistics and supply chain in the UK. After moving to Japan she spent 5 years learning Japanese and working for Japanese companies, including Honda, then continued to broaden her business perspective with executive leadership roles in sales, marketing, IT and operations at a global technology company. 

She has lead large, international organisations in various industries including pharmaceuticals, technology and services in roles ranging from COO to leader of an Asia Pacific product division with P&L responsibility for $1bn annual revenue. Moving between business divisions and being given rapidly expanding leadership roles taught her that coaching and mentoring a team where every team member understands what they need to contribute is the fastest route to success. Her comprehensive knowledge of how each part of a business operates enabled her to identify the right objectives for each group and to quickly align organisation structure, processes and talent to achieve ambitious goals. 

 

Six years ago, Jo set up two on-line retail companies which now have annual revenue of $1m and have been profitable since the second year of operation. One thing that differentiates these companies is that employees receive bonuses for innovation. They have made changes in all areas from procurement to customer service to reducing carbon footprint - this has steadily strengthened the companies' competitive position. 

 

Over her 35-year career, Jo has learnt that "business as usual" means that you will lose out to the competition sooner or later - as Winston Churchill said, "if you don't take change by the hand, it will take you by the throat". 

Brief career highlights

Jo has a BA and an MA in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University

She has held the following roles:

General Manager of an Asia Pacific Product Division at a Fortune 50 Technology company

Executive Director of Asia Pacific Strategy and Sales Operations at a Fortune 50 Technology company

Executive Director of Marketing at a Fortune 50 Technology company in Japan

COO of a global Technology company in Japan

Founder and Managing Director of two On-line Retail companies in Japan

Manufacturing Operations Manager at a Fortune 100 Pharmaceuticals company in the UK

Supply Chain Manager at a Fortune 100 Pharmaceuticals company in the UK

Major achievements

Turned around an unprofitable Asia Pacific product division; in only three years grew annual revenue from $50m to $1bn and operating income from zero to $100m

Co-lead IT project, with a budget of $30m, to consolidate multiple order management systems in 17 countries in to a single platform. The project was delivered on time, required re-training of 20,000 people and was implemented without loss of sales revenue.

Restructured a sales force of 13,000 people and changed account assignment process, sales targets and sales compensation structure to deliver an increase in sales productivity of 5-10% annually. 

Drove year-on-year growth of 50-300% across multiple product lines to achieve #1 market share position in the Japanese corporate IT market, while remaining the most profitable company in that market. 

Designed the process and tools to implement Just-In-Time procurement in a Pharmaceuticals company, which delivered annual savings of > $10m

Specialist areas

Business strategy development 

Financial planning and cost control

Sales Operations and productivity improvement

Branding for Education Institutions

Organisational strategy & development

Services delivery strategy and operations

Competitive product analysis and pricing

Forecasting and supply chain management

Specialist expertise in categories including Technology, Pharmaceuticals, E-commerce, IT Services and Retail

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