Forbes CMO Leadership Talk: Yukiko Yamaguchi, Panasonic

Yukiko Yamaguchi
By Thomas Barta
Last updated: November 28, 2018

In this interview, I spoke with Yukiko Yamaguchi, the global CMO of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company, to explore the practical secrets of CMO leadership. Here are the key ideas. Read the full interview here.

  • Overcoming Challenges: Yukiko, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, emphasized the importance of hard work, results, and leveraging her human network to succeed. She also stressed the significance of diversity in her leadership approach.
  • Marketing’s Role: She highlighted the crucial role of marketing as the “eyes, ears, and mouth” of Panasonic, bridging the gap between the company’s vision and customer needs.
  • Changing the Organization: Yukiko discussed how she transformed Panasonic’s marketing function by aligning its strategy with the CEO and proving the power of marketing through measurable results.
  • Leadership and Change: She shared an example of how she initiated change within the organization, emphasizing the importance of clear objectives and passion to drive change.
  • Team Vision: Yukiko emphasized helping team members understand their vision, identify gaps, and take necessary steps to realize that vision.
  • Defining Leadership Experience: She shared a pivotal leadership lesson from her early career, where she shifted her leadership style from demanding performance to supporting her team members, leading to improved results.
  • Team Success: Yukiko highlighted the importance of making her success synonymous with the team’s success, fostering collaboration and motivation.
  • Leadership Philosophy: Her leadership philosophy revolves around servant leadership, serving not only oneself but also the people around us to create a better world.
  • Empowering Women: Yukiko is actively involved in empowering women in the workplace, advocating for gender diversity, and helping young women believe in themselves and their dreams.
  • Confidence: She stressed the significance of confidence in pursuing one’s goals and dreams and credited her support system for her own confidence.
  • Leadership Advice: Yukiko advised understanding one’s mission and passion, respecting others, continuous learning, and embracing challenges.
  • Future Aspirations: Her future dream is to make others happy by pushing her own capabilities further as a marketer and a leader.

Yukiko’s leadership journey is marked by resilience, a commitment to diversity, and a passion for empowering others, making her a distinctive and influential corporate leader in Japan’s competitive business landscape.