10 Things You Didn’t Know About Martin Lau

There are a plethora of successful people who inspire us with their journeys. Martin Lau, the President of Tencent, is one such individual who has made a significant mark in the information technology sector. Driven by a growth mindset and fueled by tenacity, Martin has helped transform Tencent into a global powerhouse in the fields of entertainment, technology, and gaming. Here are ten things you might not know about the man at the helm of Tencent, Martin Lau.

1. His Background and Education

Martin Lau was born in 1972 in Hong Kong. His childhood was sharply focused on academics, eventually leading him to a path of educational excellence. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Michigan, one of the premier institutes in the United States.

He furthered his academic achievements by studying for a Master of Science degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management. His dual-degree background in Engineering and Management laid a solid foundation for his future role at Tencent.

2. His Early Career

Prior to joining Tencent in 2005, Lau worked with Goldman Sachs in Asia, focusing on the telecom, media, and technology sector. During this time, he played an instrumental role in numerous high-profile mergers and acquisitions. His experience in the ever-transforming tech industry paved the way for his robust understanding of the sector.

Following his stint with Goldman Sachs, Lau joined Tencent as the Chief Strategy and Investment Officer and later became the Executive Director in 2006. His passion for technology, intellect, and strategic acumen rendered him a perfect fit for the internet services company.

3. His Role in Tencent’s Success

Martin Lau’s leadership was crucial in driving Tencent from being a dominant player in China to becoming a global behemoth in internet-based services. Under his esteemed leadership, the company launched WeChat, the renowned multi-purpose messaging, social media, and mobile payment app.

He oversaw Tencent’s diversification portfolio including ventures in gaming, social networking, music, ecommerce and more. With Lau’s leadership, Tencent grew to become one of the most valuable companies in Asia.

4. His Business Philosophy

Lau practices a business philosophy that encourages innovation, partnership, and long-term commitment. He believes that revenue growth should not be the only focus of a company; instead, creating value for stakeholders, users, and society at large should be the driving force.

His impressive ability to balance growth with sustainable strategies played an integral role in Tencent’s significant strides in the digital world. He’s also known to regularly connect with his team, emphasizing the importance of transparency and communication in driving growth.

5. His Recognition and Accolades

Martin’s notable contributions to the IT sector have not gone unnoticed. Forbes listed him amongst the best CEOs in the world for 2018, placing him in the company of global industry leaders. In 2019, Fortune included him in their ‘Businessperson of the Year’ list, further spotlighting his accomplishments.

His leadership in Tencent has placed him among the ranks of the most influential people in the world of technology, solidifying his place in as a truly extraordinary leader.

6. His Connection with Entertainment

Under Martin’s leadership, Tencent expanded beyond its initial boundaries to enter the entertainment industry as well. He led Tencent Music Entertainment Group, Tencent Pictures, and Tencent Games – all of which made significant contributions to the global music, film, and gaming scene.

This endeavor reflects Lau’s belief in cultivating different interests and his idea of incorporating fun elements at work to keep the ever-evolving customer base engaged.

7. His Popularity Among Employees

Despite heading one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Martin is hugely popular among employees for his humble and approachable nature. He believes in creating a harmonious work culture and places huge importance on communication and open dialogue within the organization.

His down-to-earth demeanor, combined with his vision and leadership, has made him one of the most liked and appreciated leaders at Tencent.

8. His Risk Management Skills

One of the pivotal factors behind Lau’s success is his ability to manage risks effectively. He has a keen sense for anticipating potential threats and navigates strategically to counter and mitigate them. His skillful risk management and strategic foresight have played a significant role in Tencent’s success.

Despite various challenges in the tech landscape, Lau has skillfully guided Tencent through potential impediments, securing its position as a global leader.

9. His Philanthropic Efforts

Lau is deeply committed to giving back to society. He is a firm believer in the power of education and technology in shaping a better future and always shows a willingness to invest in such causes.

Tencent under his leadership, has made significant contributions to various charitable initiatives, especially those aiming to improve education and alleviate poverty. In 2016, Tencent launched the ‘Tencent Charity Foundation’, which has helped scores of people, propelling Martin’s philanthropic vision forward.

10. His Future Goals

Despite having accomplished so much, Martin Lau shows no signs of slowing down. He continuously emphasizes the importance of exploring new technologies and improving user experience while maintaining social responsibility.

His future goals revolve around bringing more structure to the gaming industry, leveraging AI for social good, and pushing for advanced security measures in the digital world. His endless pursuit of innovation, growth, and societal improvement is what makes Martin Lau a true visionary.

Useful Links:

Tencent Official Website

Tencent on Forbes

Martin Lau on Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year