Lei Zhang Schlitz's Biography

Early Career and Education

Lei Zhang Schlitz embarked on her professional journey after completing her Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics at Tsinghua University, where she was involved in track and field and winter swimming. She furthered her education by earning a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee between 1994 and 1998. Her early career roles included a Research Engineer position at Eaton Corporation from 1994 to 1998, where she began applying her engineering expertise in a practical setting1.

Transition into the Industry

Schlitz's transition into the industry she is currently known for began with her role as a Program Manager at GE from 1998 to 2001, where she developed next-generation electrical distribution products and equipment. She then moved to Siemens Energy & Automation, serving as Director of Engineering from September 2001 to May 2006 and later as Business Manager until September 2008, significantly growing the product portfolio through strategic and innovative leadership1 2.

Career Development and Leadership Roles

In 2008, Schlitz joined Illinois Tool Works (ITW) as Vice President of the ITW Technology Center, marking a pivotal point in her career. Her roles at ITW evolved over the years, including Group President of various segments within the Food Equipment Group and Executive Vice President of the ITW Automotive OEM Segment. Her leadership contributed to the design, manufacture, and global distribution of critical components and systems across the automotive and food equipment industries3 1.

Current Positions and Achievements

As of November 2022, Lei Zhang Schlitz serves as Vice President and President of Global Products at Johnson Controls, overseeing product management for HVAC/R, building management systems, and security and fire safety products. Her role signifies her influence in shaping the future of building solutions on a global scale. Additionally, since May 2019, Schlitz has been a board member at ADM, contributing to the compensation & succession and sustainability & corporate responsibility committees, showcasing her commitment to corporate governance and sustainability4 1.

Volunteering and Community Involvement

Schlitz's dedication extends beyond her corporate roles, as evidenced by her involvement in philanthropy and volunteer programs. She has been recognized for her efforts to create pathways for communities to thrive, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact on society5.

Throughout her career, Lei Zhang Schlitz has exemplified leadership, innovation, and a commitment to excellence in the business and engineering fields. Her journey from an engineering student to a top executive in global corporations highlights her remarkable expertise and influence in shaping industries and communities.



  1. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lei-schlitz-1616234 2 3 4

  2. https://www.marketscreener.com/insider/LEI-ZHANG-SCHLITZ-A0QY8X/

  3. https://www.itw.com/media/23jgry5v/lei-zhang-schlitz-2022.pdf

  4. https://investors.adm.com/governance/board-of-directors/person-details/default.aspx?ItemId=1e94bd1c-29bd-413d-b277-95898c6b9c38

  5. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/lei-schlitz-1616234_johnsoncontrols-activity-7079960899171594240-iBji?trk=public_profile