Yanli Zhou

Chief Technologist for Manufacturing Innovations

General Motors


Yanli Zhou is the Chief Technologist for Manufacturing Innovations in General Motors. Prior to her current role, she was Sr. Manager for the Global Automation Standards and Device Level Analytics (DLA) Group, leading global efforts on defining enterprise automation and DLA strategies, developing related standards, processes, and tools, and implementing DLA capabilities into multiple manufacturing sites.

Yanli joined GM in 1998 and hold various leadership positions.  She was Sr. Manager for the Global Automation Standards and Manufacturing Cybersecurity Organization and Sr. Manager for GMNA Automation Execution responsible for Paint, Press and Polymer projects.  She took an international assignment to GM China in 2016 and severed as Deputy Director for VME Vehicle Systems in SAIC-GM.   Prior to that, she also worked as OPEX Manager, Strategy and Planning Group Manager, and Global Business Manager.  During her early years with GM, Yanli was controls/robotics lead engineer for several product launches and major paint shop projects.

Yanli earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in EE and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering.  Additionally, she completed Stanford Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate program as well as several leadership programs including Harvard Business Publishing /GM ELP, InForum Executive Leadership Program, and Disney Institute Leadership Excellence.

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