Senior Vice President, International Operations Planning & Analysis
With an extensive background and nearly 20 years of experience in the gaming, leisure, and hospitality industries, Michael Zhu became a valuable asset to The Innovation Group in 2014 and has been applying a comprehensive analytical skill set while exploiting a unique cultural context and leveraging his in-depth development and operational experience in the related sectors. Michael was recognized as a featured professional in the Global Gaming Business “40 Under 40” Class of 2015 that represents the next generation of leaders in the gaming industry worldwide. He also sits on the advisory board for Asia Gaming Brief and is Vice Chairman of the Macau Gaming Information Association (MGIA).
Based in the firm’s Denver office, Michael is in charge of a diverse set of project initiatives, including feasibility studies, market assessments, business analysis, and operational optimization. His main focus is on mid and large-scale integrated resort (IR) development and operations in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, and European markets, with high profile assignments completed in Macau, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Italy, France, Greece, Russia, Georgia, Czech Republic, and dozens of U.S. states/territories/tribal reservations.
One of the hallmarks of Michael’s career has been his notably rapid industry advancement and progression. He started expanding his professional horizons within the United States as a Leadership Development Associate with Las Vegas Sands Corporation (NYSE: LVS), one of the world’s largest and most successful IR operators. As an analytical and conceptual thinker, he was able to quickly establish his expertise in strategic planning, business analysis, financial modeling, and operational excellence in the full range of gaming, hotel, food and beverage, MICE, entertainment, retail, and cross-functional businesses at a global level. Through the dramatic global financial downturn that began in 2008, Michael was a key part of the Financial Management Task Force working on Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s adaptation to the new business environment. During his tenure with LVS, he also oversaw a broad array of projects to establish and enhance financial planning and analysis for the opening of numerous Sands China integrated resorts in Macau, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and Sands Aviation Services. Prior to his years at LVS, Michael worked in various management positions for hospitality agencies and companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Michael holds a Master of Business Administration in Hospitality Management from the prestigious School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Peking University in China. He was a Fellow of the United States National Committee on U.S. – China Relations in Washington, DC and of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Michael speaks fluent Mandarin and Shanghai dialect.