Painter has spent the last five years in China, first as chief financial officer of an IBM Corp. joint venture start-up, then as chairman and managing director of an IBM subsidiary. He left IBM earlier this year to start his own company based in Hong Kong.
Painter led IBM Technology Products Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen, China, from 1998 until earlier this year. The IBM subsidiary, which manufactured subassemblies for computer hard drives and head assemblies for tape drives, grew from zero employees in January 1998 to 200 employees and 4,000 contracted workers at the end of 1999.
As chairman and managing director, Painter managed all phases of the business, including negotiating with the Chinese government, securing all business licenses, staffing all key positions, overseeing construction, and gaining approval for the start of business from local customs, tax, industry, land-use, fire and security authorities.
IBM Technology Products managed to start production after only four months of set-up, which included construction of the plant, hiring and training the work force. The company completed ISO 9002 certification in February 1999.
From 1996 to 1998, as chief financial officer of Hailiang Storage Products Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen, Painter managed all financial, accounting, tax and business controls from start-up through normal operations. The joint venture went from zero to 1,500 employees during his tenure.
While at Hailiang Storage, which manufactured computer data storage products, Painter localized procurement of 85 percent of the commodity items it purchased.
Painter formed the Neptus Group in Hong Kong earlier this year to bring together Asian suppliers and original equipment manufacturers around the world. Neptus will provide some common services, including accounting, marketing, employee recruiting and technology support, as well as consolidation of information technology and assistance in strategic planning and partnerships.
Prior to going to China, Painter founded BLR Data Corp. in Tucson, Ariz., a consulting firm when it started in 1992 that evolved into a developer and supplier of proprietary data products with offices across the U.S.
From 1992-98, Painter worked for IBM in Tucson as a special projects officer, then as manager of financial planning.
From 1994-98, he was also an adjunct professor in the graduate school of management at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has an MBA in international financial management from the University of Arizona.
Painter learned to speak Chinese when the U.S. Navy sent him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, Calif.
Painter is married, has two children, and now resides in Kowloon, Hong Kong.