Katherine Melchior Ray lectures on international marketing and leadership topics gained from a 25-year career building some of the world’s best consumer brands through culture-flexing on three different continents and across five different industry sectors – tech, media, retail, travel and beauty. Ms. Melchior Ray is a senior executive with an impressive track record as a catalyst for growth for companies such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hyatt, and Shiseido seeking entry into new markets, relevance during rapid change, and digital and organizational transformations. Most recently as CMO for Babbel, the online language learning company based in Berlin, and before that as CMO at Shiseido, the $10B cosmetic giant in Tokyo, her global brand expertise combines incisive consumer insights with organizational management skills for large multinational corporations as well as online start-ups. Ms. Melchior Ray spearheaded growth for Nike’s women’s footwear business as General Manager, US Women’s Footwear at Nike HQ in Oregon. Recognized for her deep understanding of complex, international markets, she has worked in Japan nine years on three separate assignments and spent four years in France running global marketing for Nordstrom’s Façonnable brand. In Japan, as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Louis Vuitton and then Executive Director for Gucci, Katherine delivered sales growth through innovative marketing strategies pushing both edges of the brands’ fulcrum. Leveraging her understanding of the luxury consumer, she shifted from fashion to hospitality to run Hyatt’s global luxury brands Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt from Chicago.
Ms. Melchior Ray leverages a keen sense of storytelling to build emotional connections between brands and their customers, developed early in her career in Japanese TV in Tokyo and New York. Culturally and linguistically fluent in Japanese and French, Katherine excels at connecting people across cultural differences through innovative business strategies and developing strong teams.
Expertise and Research Interests
Global Marketing, Organizational Development, Leadership, Business Transformation