James serves key clients in the technology and industrial sectors, including hardware (semiconductors, solar, and contract manufacturing), software (enterprise software, data analytics, social media technologies, mobile ecosystem, and payment technologies), digital media, and business services. James has a keen interest in innovative, technology-enabled industrial, healthcare, and consumer businesses. Clients value his deep understanding of the essential leadership characteristics of Chinese executives who succeed in western organisations.
Prior to joining August Leadership, James started his career in executive search in China in 2000 with another leading global executive search firm as a Partner and enjoyed stints at other large and entrepreneurial boutique search firms in Shanghai and Melbourne. He returned to China in 2015 to establish the North Asia practice of a tech-focused boutique. In addition to having personal experience leading start-up companies, James has drawn upon his business leadership and consulting experience to assist clients in building leadership teams in a range of technology, industrial, consumer, and distribution businesses. He has advised on the appointment of board directors, chief executives, managing directors, business unit leaders and senior functional roles across the Asia Pacific in these sectors.
James began his career in television news and the motion picture industry, before holding accounting, consulting, sales, and general management positions in London and Shanghai, with Coopers & Lybrand, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and major software vendors, mostly in the enterprise management systems arena, serving clients in the manufacturing, consumer and pharmaceutical industries.
James holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Chinese and Economics from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). A native of the U.K. and a proud Australian, he has lived in Shanghai for over 20 years, and speaks fluent Mandarin, as well as some Shanghainese and Cantonese. In his spare time, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, an active Foundation Member of the Melbourne Rebels, and is an avid follower of automotive and device technologies.