Karen Zhao

Karen advises business leaders reinventing talent strategies and closing the talent gap in a radically changing consumer and retail industry.


Karen works closely with multinationals, Chinese domestic and private equity backed organizations across the broader Consumer Sector. Based in Shanghai, she has a strong track record of advising boards and CEOs on leadership transitions, succession planning and senior level recruitment. Karen brings significant executive search experience, having successfully executed C-suite succession and search engagements within the industries of retail, consumer goods, digital, media and entertainment across the Asia and China regions. With a distinct focus on commercial, marketing, and digital roles, she also matured strong functional search experience in the areas of human resources, financial officers and public affairs.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Karen worked for a boutique executive search firm where she led senior-level assignments within the healthcare and broader industrial sectors.

Karen holds a BS and a MS in industrial engineering from Nanjing University of aeronautics and astronautics.
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Consumer Consumer Products Digital, Media and Entertainment Executive Search Finance Human Resources Retail and Luxury

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