Kai Zhu Is the Compassionate Traveler 

Kai Zhu always knew he wanted to have a career in corporate finance, but it was equally important to him to find a role that helps people.

That’s why he took a job as senior vice president and CFO of Invacare, a global leader in home and long-term care medical products. He had originally joined the company in April 2022 as vice president of finance EMEA.

“My predecessor retired, and I had the chance to move here and take on this role,” he shares. “I really like the linkage you can create between numbers and the business and drive changes to make things better.”

In his job, Zhu is responsible for financial planning, budgeting, directing strategy, and reporting processes to drive performance. He oversees all finance processes including liquidity management, treasury, and tax for the company, as well as Security and Exchange Commission filings, audits, and compliance activities. One of the most critical parts of Zhu’s job is keeping shareholders and external partners informed of all financial happenings.

“We strive for top-line growth and profitability, pushing everyone to improve,” he says. “We need to hold the line and do correct things.”

Over his career, Zhu has had numerous jobs that have helped prepare him for where he is now. For instance, he worked at Avery Dennison Deutschland GmbH for four years, spent five years at KaVo Dental GmbH, served as head of controlling for Britax Group EMEA for a year, and worked in finance leadership roles at Danaher KaVo Kerr Group and CNH Industrial.

“When I step into a new job, there are always things I have never done before,” he notes, explaining that before his current role, he had never worked directly with shareholders. “I have always been a believer that you learn on the job, so you need to have an open mind and be ready to receive new information and invest time to learn.”

As someone who is dedicated and engaged in his career, Zhu has successfully made the necessary adjustments to flourish.

“I dive into new challenges with the belief that I can succeed,” he shares. “I manage all the challenges, understand the business and its requirements, and I believe I perform very well. Coming from China and working with a global team in Germany has given me extensive experience in listening and communicating effectively with diverse people.”

As a leader, Zhu describes himself as someone who takes responsibility but encourages collaboration and accountability of his team. His goal is to create a savvy, supported team capable of solving problems.

“I do believe communication is key,” he explains. “I ask my team to come back to me whenever there is an issue and not to hide things. We can work together to find a solution, but they need to take ownership.”

Zhu spent the first twenty-one years of his life in his hometown of China before moving to Southern China to study business at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

He moved to Germany in 1999 at the age of twenty-four to continue his education at the Technical University Ilmenau, and remained there until 2023, when Zhu moved to Ohio to work in the US for the first time.

Having worked around the globe, Zhu is thrilled that he’s been able to prosper in different places and remains open to other destinations in his future; he looks forward to learning more.

“Before I moved, I was not sure I could get used to life in the US,” Zhu admits. “It wasn’t easy at first, especially with family not being here, but it’s getting better as I get to know people and explore the area. I can see myself living here longer. I do want to see the world. A sleepy dragon has been awakened and I can even imagine living somewhere else; I kind of like it.”

When Zhu arrived in the States, Invacare was emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which presented a host of new challenges and learning opportunities.

“There was a lot to be done, and I had limited experience from a public accounting perspective,” he recounts. “I received valuable advice from the board and others and ensured the right people were in the right roles at the right time. We reorganized the team and promoted key talents in the organization to make it work.”

Zhu has a number of strategic initiatives he’s currently working on, but has to keep things close to the vest. However, one thing he can share is that he and his team will always work as true business partners to drive better performance of the company.

Huron is a global professional services firm that collaborates with clients to put possible into practice by creating sound strategies, optimizing operations, accelerating digital transformation, and empowering businesses and their people to own their future. By embracing diverse perspectives, encouraging new ideas, and challenging the status quo, we create sustainable results for the organizations we serve. Huron’s commercial industry serves organizations facing significant disruption and regulatory change. Our professionals use their deep industry, functional, and technical expertise to deliver digital services and software products, financial advisory services including valuation, special situations, and corporate finance, and strategy and innovation consulting services.

The post Kai Zhu Is the Compassionate Traveler  appeared first on American Healthcare Leader.

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