Li Li, managing director of Condé Nast China for the past two years, will step down on Oct. 11.
She succeeded Sophia Liao, who was removed in September 2020 after Roger Lynch, chief executive officer of Condé Nast, took office. Liao later became an outspoken critic of Condé Nast’s new global direction with a series of widely shared articles published on her WeChat account after she won a labor arbitration against the publishing house last October.
Prior to joining Condé Nast China, Li was at Bose, where she served as head of Greater China, consumer electronics. Her other roles have included general manager of the Viplux business for VIP.com, one of China’s high-end e-commerce platforms, director of Fosun Group, and senior management positions at Audemars Piguet and across L’Oréal’s luxury division.
In an email sent to internal employees, obtained by WWD, Li said: “The last two years have been a challenging, yet amazing journey…We have tested a broad range of new ways of working with new senior leaders and bringing fresh ideas to our team to work closely with our global system.
“It has been an honor to help and guide Condé Nast China for the last two years. Now time for me to return to my passion for branding, marketing, and retail,” she added.
Lynch revealed in the email that Gill Zhou will step into Li’s role immediately, while the company searches for a new managing director.
With nearly 30 years of experience working on behalf of multinational corporations in China, Gill most recently served as chief marketing officer for IBM Asia Pacific where she led brand and marketing teams across 13 countries and was responsible for the digital transformation of business-to-business sales across the greater China region. Prior to IBM, Gill served as Motorola China’s communications leader.
“Gill shared with me that she is proud of being known as someone who leads with her heart by always putting people first, especially during times of change and transformation…Gill will spend some time working closely with the executive team and me in New York before she returns to Beijing in October. Over the next few weeks, she will be reaching out to you and stepping in quickly to manage all elements of our business,” Lynch said in the email.