Episode 199: Bringing Confetti to the Room w/ Emily Chang

emily chang is the ceo of mccann worldgroup

Imagine gifting someone a little extra fun, moment of joy, or small delight. This is what Emily Chang, CEO of McCann Worldgroup, calls “bringing the confetti.” In this episode, Lisa and Emily discuss the micro-moments in each day that add up to something meaningful. Their conversation will leave you considering the profound power of words and how you can use them to leave a lasting social legacy.

Bio: Having catalyzed a turnaround for McCann Worldgroup China in just over a year, Emily Chang is a true change-maker whose drive for O+O branded experiences and cross-cultural team leadership have delivered record-high results for the agency.

Emily has always positioned creativity and innovation at the center of her business strategy, even in her first two decades leading client-site businesses. So, when she joined McCann Worldgroup China as CEO in Sep 2020, Emily was thrilled to help brands deliver delightful, integrated customer experiences that earn a meaningful role in people’s lives.

When working as the CMO for Starbucks China, Emily was responsible for marketing, sales, loyalty, customer engagement, and digital ecosystem (ecommerce, loyalty, payments, partnerships). Her teams tripled digital tender across stores, helped open the Starbucks Shanghai Roastery, and launched the brand’s delivery program.

Before joining Starbucks, Emily was Chief Commercial Officer for InterContinental Hotels Group, Greater China, where she led all commercial functions across Greater China. Looking after 320+ hotels and a team of 5,200 Sales & Marketing members, Emily spearheaded the market share turnaround of six hotel brands and the contribution mix of three loyalty programs. She also invested in new BI and Digital capabilities and differentiated the group with a focus on Branded Guest Experiences. Prior to IHG, Emily worked for a combined 15 years at Procter & Gamble and Apple.

As a champion of DE&I, she is committed to creating a positive culture of belonging at work and, in fact, sees Conscious Inclusion as a core business strategy. Emily injects a “positive spirit” in the workplace, prioritizing wellness, fun and active engagement. Among other significant improvements, McCann has seen “I see opportunity for personal growth” increase +88% and “My well-being is cared for” improve +70% over the last three bi-annual surveys.

In 2022, Emily was awarded “Women To Watch Greater China” by Campaign Asia, one of the most prestigious recognitions in the marketing & advertising industry. She also contributes time to support the industry’s development by delivering lectures like at Tsinghua University, AmCham, and FBIF, and judging awards like New York Festivals AME Awards.

Emily sits on the board of SOS Children’s Villages and recently published a best-selling book called “The Spare Room,” also the topic of her first TEDx Talk. She enjoys spending time with Minki, her husband of 22 years, Laini her thirteen year-old daughter, Holly Berry, their rescue dog, and Scarlett, the pygmy hedgehog.

Emily’s Something Extra: Confetti; bringing the fun.

Guest Links:


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Daniel Williams, Recording Engineer