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Philips means quality

I was reflecting on what a year it’s been - our 125th as a company and my 1st in the role – when I realized that this intersection of old and new, past and future, actually describes where we stand as an organization.

Usually we’d celebrate an anniversary like this by using our history of great products to tell each other and the world how future-proofed we were. In other words, we’d look back.  

But instead of being self-congratulatory, we decided that it would be more honest and productive to be self-aware. So, we took a hard look at ourselves, reviewed the passing days, and made a commitment to change.


We no longer think of Philips as making products but creating futures for people – most importantly our staff and customers in China. And why is this? Because only by creating such futures can we create a future for our brand.


Changing our thinking was the first step. The second has been to turn this into reality by relentlessly pursuing one goal – Quality.


We used to see quality as a product issue, and the responsibility of the Quality & Regulatory department. This meant that sometimes a launch deadline or sales target was our top priority. But not any more. Quality is now understood to be a culture. And it’s now our top priority, always. For everyone, everyday, everywhere in the company.


As a result, we’re using quality to transform our culture, our organization and our people. Including myself.


But how will we achieve this? By going beyond simply having a strong Quality & Regulatory department, although we’re hiring more Q&R professionals, who’ll have more authority, than ever before. By implementing a single China-wide Quality Management System for which I will take personal responsibility. By putting quality on the agenda at every top-level discussion in China and around the world. By placing a premium on talent - taking everyone currently at Philips on a transformational journey to activate (and keep activating) the ‘Quality Gene’, and recruiting only those with the right attitude and behavior as well as the right skills.


And what will success look, sound, taste, smell and feel like? When people inside or outside the company are asked what Philips means, and they answer “quality”.


This ambition goes hand-in-hand with our separation of Lighting from HealthTech - when it comes to lifestyle, quality can be the difference between satisfaction and disappointment, but when it comes to life, quality can be the difference between life and death. It gives our people more opportunities to make an impact on innovations that matter, drive their careers in directions to which they aspire, and share their passion to improve lives. And it will capitalize on the fact that by 2020 around 50% of China’s population will be middle class, meaning they’ll be able to buy more of the things they want rather than simply the things they need, and make many more of their purchase decisions based on quality.


The journey won’t be easy - the most important things in business, as in life, never are. But I know that it won’t be a lonely one, because we all have to travel together in the same direction for it to happen. Only by focusing on quality can we ensure that Philips is defined not by its proud past, but by its sustainable future.

Andy Ho

CEO, Greater China, Royal Philips
Corporate responsibilities: Greater China

Andy Ho joined Royal Philips in August 2015 as Executive Vice President and as planned, became the CEO of Philips Greater China in November, 2015.

Prior to joining Philips, Mr. Ho had held a wide range of sales, technology and senior management roles across Greater China, Canada and the United States in a career spanning 32 years in IBM, where he had also been a member of the Technology Team Committee, and the Strategy Team Committee, Global, IBM. His last appointment at IBM was the General Manager of Technology Partnership, and Chief Strategic Alliance Officer of the Greater China Group (GCG). In this role, he directed IBM’s global and local resources to strike technology partnerships and key alliances with government entities and major enterprises in China, paving the path for IBM’s next wave of growth.


In 2014, Mr. Ho was the General Manager of GCG North where he was responsible for delivering business results and driving long term growth strategies for IBM in the region, and further, as a senior executive in IBM, leading the company to achieve its goals in the areas of Smarter Cities, Technology Partnerships and channel business across the entire Greater China territory. Prior to that, Mr. Ho was the Vice President, Sales and Operation of GCG where he led to drive excellence in sales transformation, business management and daily operation.


In 2011, he was appointed as General Manager of Systems and Technology Group, Global Growth Markets, where he led the different business units to deliver market leaderships across eight growth market regions. Prior to that, he had held a variety of positions with extensive global management experience in multiple geographies and cultures across diverse businesses of IBM, which included a unique assignment in 2008 to the U.S. as the Client Advocacy Executive for the IBM Chairman, President and CEO at the IBM Corporate Headquarters located in Armonk, New York.


Mr. Ho started his career at IBM in 1983. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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