Think Tank


Director of Ford Asia Pacific IT

Steffen Mueller-Urbaniak was named Director of IT Business Operations for the Americas for Ford in January 2011. He became the Director of Ford Asia Pacific IT since July 2014. In addition to overseeing IT in Asia, his responsibilities also include global IT strategy for Manufacturing in Ford.

Steffen was previously responsible for IT for Marketing, Sales & Service and Communications in the U.S. Prior to that he held various positions in IT and Product Development both in Europe and in the U.S. Through these varied experiences he has developed a broad understanding of Ford’s automotive business as well as the IT strategy and solutions that support it. His stated professional passion is to help improve the business by bringing people, technology and processes together.

Steffen holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He joined Ford of Germany in 1989 as an IT system analyst supporting CAD and CAE. He relocated to the U.S in 1998 and lives in Shanghai, China since 2014.

John Gao

CIO of Schindler China & AP

John Gao joined Schindler since Jan. 2014 as CIO of Schindler China & AP, SVP of Schindler China and member of leadership team of Schindler Digit Business Before join Schindler, John worked as CIO AP at Schaeffler Group, Director of Application Management at Bosch Rexroth China and Development Supervisor at Bosch Rexroth North America.

John has more than 20 years in IT area with strong knowledge and rich experiences on team management, IT strategy development, standardization and IT portfolio management etc., John worked also in more than ten different countries/regions for ERP implementation.


Regional CIO for Procter & Gamble (P&G)

8 years experience as Regional CIO for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in different geographical business units: Greater China, Japan/Korea, Brazil, Australasia/ASEAN/India and Global Baby, Feminine and Family Care Sector. The size of the business units ranged from $2Bn to $12Bn in revenue and the IT/shared services internal staff of up to 180 people. 25 years overall experience in IT industry. Expert in IT strategy development, value creation, leading large scale transformation programs, driving innovation and IT organization development. Experienced in managing large acquisition and running shared services IT. Focuses on driving technology enabled business transformation including: ERP, Supply Chain Synchronization, Selling and Sales Force Automation, Digitizing Employees, Business Intelligence, eBusiness, Digital Manufacturing and Scaled IT Shared Services.