Jue Wong is the CEO of Olaplex. For those who are curious, said company specializes in bond-building haircare products. Wong has been doing quite well in the role, which in turn, means that Olaplex has been doing quite well under her leadership.
1. Born and Raised in Singapore
Wong was born and raised in Singapore, which is a rare example of a city-state that has managed to remain prominent in the present. Historically speaking, city-states were very common. To name an example, Rome started out as a city-state, though it expanded so much that its system meant for running a city-state was stretched beyond its limits running an empire that covered the Mediterranean Sea. Something that contributed to the tumultuous transition from the late Roman Republic to the early Roman Empire. In any case, there aren't a lot of sovereign city-states that exist in the present. Singapore might be the single best example because it is sovereign in every single respect.
2. Went to Study Overseas
When it was time for Wong to go to university, she made a decision to study overseas rather than study at home. Apparently, she had three reasons for doing so. One, Wong wanted to focus on her studies. Two, she wanted the challenge of reestablishing herself in a new community. Three, Wong wanted to use that as a way to encourage herself to become more self-sufficient as a person.
3. Studied At Australian National University
Specifically, Wong studied at Australian National University, which is a public university that can be found in the Australian capital of Canberra. Said school has an excellent reputation, so much so that it is considered to be one of the best schools in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere. To a considerable extent, this is because Australian National University is quite good at research, which makes sense because it is a research university.
4. Wanted to Go Into Singapore's Diplomatic Corps
Apparently, Wong wanted to go into Singapore's diplomatic corps. However, that was impossible because candidates need a degree from a local school, which she didn't have for obvious reasons. In any case, Singapore's diplomatic corps is seen in a positive light, which makes sense because Singapore presumably pours a huge amount of resources into it. Something that is important because its continuing well-being is so dependent on its international relationships.
5. Went Into Finance Instead
Instead, Wong made the decision to go into finance. To be exact, she became a trading manager at Cargill Commodities. It seems safe to say that Wong was very successful in this regard, seeing as how she went on to hold senior roles at Bangkok, Geneva, London, and Hong Kong.
6. Became a Turnaround Executive
Later, Wong went to work as a turnaround executive. Like the name says, turnaround executives are people who are entrusted with saving companies that are in serious trouble, which means restoring them to a state of solvency. As such, they might be capable of figuring out the company's issues, come up with a plan to resolve the company's issues, and then implement the plan to solve the company's issues. Generally speaking, these people don't stick around for very long. After all, they aren't there to run the companies that they have been entrusted with for the long run. Instead, they are very specifically meant to turn those companies' situation around so that they can move on to the next job. In Wong's case, she specialized in skincare companies, which might be personal care products but are nonetheless quite different from haircare products.
7. Has a Trend of Record of Bringing Brands to Bigger Markets
Career-wise, it is interesting to note that Wong has a record of bringing brands to bigger markets. For example, she has helped emerging brands as well as middle-market brands establish themselves. Similarly, she has helped well-established brands make the transition to the international stage. Both of these things call for a lot of skill because breaking into competitive markets is much easier said than done. Furthermore, it seems safe to say that she is very versatile in her chosen link of work as well because one of these things isn't the same as the other.
8. Lost Her Husband to a Heart Attack
Unfortunately, Wong lost her husband because of a heart attack in 2009. It was a particularly terrible blow because his support had been a major contributor to her success. Said event caused Wong to do some serious thinking about important matters. In particular, it made her decide that she wanted to be the best that she can be as a way of honoring her late husband.
9. Believes in Work-Life Balance
Unsurprisingly, Wong believes in work-life balance. Essentially, she says that people should spend time with their families, which is important for preventing burnout. One would think that kind of thing would be obvious. Sadly, the simple fact of the matter is that it isn't as common as it should be, as shown by a wide range of companies in a wide range of industries. As a result, it is good that Wong leads by example on this one by doing things such as not contacting her team members on weekends as well as waiving performance indicators for women who are on maternity leave.
10. Going For Better Products Rather Than More Products
Strategy-wise, Wong is going for better products rather than more products for her company. This can be seen in how Olaplex had just three products from 2014 to 2018, which wasn't because they had no interest in the matter. Instead, it was because if they were going to launch something new, they needed to make sure that it would be the best in its class. This makes sense, seeing as how product launches are costly while breaking into competitive markets is challenging. As a result, a bad product launch is capable of doing great damage to companies.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee