iLEAD Advisor and Former Marvel CEO Shares Wisdom on Bridging US-China Divide

April 01, 2015

Anyone who has overseen a nine-figure deal between US and Chinese firms must know a thing or two about bridging the cultural divide when it comes to doing global business. Peter Cuneo is one such man, and he’s also a key part of CKGSB’s iLEAD program.

Having visited China more than 50 times throughout his impressive career, Peter Cuneo knows a thing or two about the importance of understanding the fundamental differences between Chinese and American cultures.  His latest deal saw him broker a nine-figure (USD) deal between comic book company Valiant Entertainment and DMG, the Chinese and US film production group, so Cuneo is worth listening to when it comes to developing business relationships that bridge the two nations.

Former Marvel Entertainment CEO and current CKGSB iLEAD Program Advisory Board Member Peter Cuneo delivers a keynote speech at Columbia Business School’s 8th Annual China Business Conference

The former CEO of Marvel Entertainment and the man known for engineering turnarounds at companies such as Clairol, Black & Decker and Remington, delivered a keynote speech recently at the Columbia Business School’s 8th Annual China Business Conference, highlighting some of those possible misunderstandings.

“Chinese business banquets always involve 20 or more dishes of food. But most Chinese business people are really lost when it comes to US food,” Cuneo said.

Columbia’s Greater China Society hosted the symposium, titled “The Global Impact of China’s Rising Power,” with the Columbia Business School on March 27, 2015. More than 500 guests at Alfred Lerner Hall attended for a day full of speakers, panelists and networking.

Cuneo, who chairs the Next Opportunity Group’s Wealth and Values Initiative Founding Family Advisory Board and is a CKGSB iLEAD Program Advisory Board Member, also shared advice on how to implement fundamental changes for companies that have fallen on hard times. His speech echoed an exclusive interview Cuneo recently gave to CKGSB Knowledge.

Participants in this summer’s iLEAD program will spend time under Cuneo’s tutelage as he discusses leadership in family business. A partnership between CKGSB, Cornell University, Next Opportunity Group and US China Partners, iLEAD is a groundbreaking, immersive program for next-generation leaders from American, Chinese and international family businesses in a unique, cross-cultural, executive education program. iLEAD consists of two modules: one in Philadelphia and New York in the US, and one in Beijing and Shanghai in China.

In recommending iLEAD, Cuneo previously said, “In many cases, a family’s wealth degenerates over generations. There is great interest in the issue of how does a family maintain or even grow its wealth. iLEAD will help answer those questions.”

To learn more about iLEAD, visit or contact Alan Chen at or +1-646-627-7735.

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