As a serial technology start-up guy, working for the world’s largest beverage company in this role is not intuitive at first glance. More used to raising venture capital, building high-growth businesses and sitting on the sell-side during M&A discussions, I have “start-up DNA”, but AB InBev offered the best of all worlds – the chance to work in a newly created group, ABI’s ZX Ventures organization, with the mandate to launch and build an eCommerce business in China with ABI as a single strategic investor. Treating the business as a high-growth start-up is a key part of the ZXV culture, with innovation, velocity and agility as key pillars.
Having started my career in Beijing in 1989, I have come full circle in this, my second tour of China. In between China stints, I have had front row seats at several technology inflection points, spending the mid-90's in Silicon Valley involved in the early Internet, SaaS and Cloud (before they were branded as such), the late-90's in Redmond, deeply embedded in Microsoft as it transitioned from a work group to enterprise player, laid the groundwork for “du”, a telecommunications company in Dubai, spent 10 years at the forefront of mobile broadband, rode the front edge of the enterprise social media wave, launched an eCommerce business in China, and am now building a global Marketplace business unit, helping to bring people together for a Better World.