Hello, I’m Charles Hayes

Partner and Executive Managing Director

I lead IDEO's business in China: from setting the vision, to building client relationships to enabling the next generation of talent to deliver world-class work. I work with leaders, organizations and networks to influence and shape the role of design to create positive impact in China, and throughout Asia. Specifically, I focus on entrepreneurship, going global, tackling systemic challenges and creative leadership.

What you won't learn from my bio:
I have done adventure moto rides in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America with plans to cover Australia and South America in the works!

Joined IDEO:

My Work

Full Bio

Charles is Executive Managing Director, Asia and a Partner at IDEO. Based in Shanghai, he leads IDEO’s business in the region and works with clients to create value and growth through innovation. He acts as an advisor and strategic guide for client executive teams and focuses on helping them build strong consumer brands, tackle systemic challenges, and launch new ventures. His work has spanned industries including: food and beverage, retail, healthcare, education, hospitality and consumer goods.

In addition to working with clients, Charles helps amplify the impact of IDEO’s work by creating start-up and expert in-residence programs, building networks for collaboration, and developing new models for growth for IDEO in Asia. Recognised as an exceptional institutional intrapreneur, Charles has been selected by The Aspen Institute as a First Movers Fellow in the class of 2016.

Charles’s views are much sought-after, and he has been invited to write for the press and speak at international forums, corporate leadership events and academic institutions. In particular, he is interested in entrepreneurs and startups as a driving force for creating new economic and social value, how to cultivate creative leadership, the opportunities and challenges of Asian enterprises going global, and using human-centered design to tackle systemic challenges. Charles was recognized in 2014 in FastCompany China magazine as one of 100 Most Creative People in Business for his contribution to creativity, business and nurturing talent. In 2015, he was appointed as a Member of Coursera’s China Advisory Board.

Prior to joining IDEO, Charles worked for 15 years globally, mixing roles as a management consultant, an entrepreneur and a creative director. He has participated in the successful initial public offering of an internet start-up in New York, launched his own venture-funded wellbeing business in London, and built the interactive brand and marketing arm of a digital agency in Tokyo.

Charles holds degrees from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Central Saint Martins College at the University of the Arts, London, where he was also an associate lecturer. During his studies, Charles was invited to participate in special programs at Cambridge University and London Business School.

In his spare time, he is an avid adventure motorcycle rider, including long-distance tours across Asia, North America, Africa and Europe. Charles also enjoys a good glass of wine after a long run with his Siberian Husky, Huli.

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