Smashed Fridges and Catfish: The Story of Haier
In 1984 Zhang Ruimin went into a failing factory making fridges and smashed them all with a sledgehammer. “Work started at 8.00am”, Mr Zhang tells Peter Day, “but if you went in there at 9.00am and threw a grenade nobody would die because they had all gone home”. This factory has now become Haier, one of the largest white goods manufacturers in the world. Zhang Ruimin tells Peter Day how he transformed the company and how he developed his own style of management. Managers at Haier, for example, have their own ‘catfish’ who always shadows them in order to stir things up when they are not performing at their best.
(Picture: Zhang Ruimin, Credit: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)
Contributors to this programme:
Chairman and Chief Executive of Haier Group.
Director, Haier Air Conditioner General Corporation Ltd.