Soon Yu

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Soon Yu
OccupationAuthor, public speaker, consultant
Alma materStanford University
GenreBranding, marketing, business

Soon Yu (born August 5, 1965) is an international Asian-American speaker and an adjunct professor at The New School's Parsons School of Design.[1] Yu is an expert in innovation and design[2] and is the author of the book, 'Iconic Advantage' (February 6, 2018, distributed by Simon & Schuster).[3][4] He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal,[5] Washington Post,[6] Entrepreneur Magazine,[7] and New York Times.[8]

Early Life[edit]

Yu was born in Taiwan and moved to Davis, California, at age 3, where his father was an agricultural geneticist[9] . Soon received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1988[10] and his MBA from Stanford University in 1993.[11]


Soon has served as the global VP of innovation and as a corporate officer for VF Corporation from 2010 to 2016.[12] Prior to working at VF Corporation, he has also worked at The Clorox Company[13] as brand manager, customer marketing group manager, and general manager; Advanced Micro Devices as an engineer; and Bain & Company, as an associate consultant[14]. Other positions held were CEO and founder of[15], general manager at Chiquita Brands International[16], and chief marketing advisor at SafeWeb[17].

In 1997, Yu left his management position at Clorox to pursue a sales associate position at Crate & Barrel, taking an 85% pay cut and earring $5/hour to gain retail experience. [18]

In 1998, Yu founded Gazoontite, a multi-channel e-tailer offering products, services, and information to “help people breathe happier and healthier”.[19] The launch included a comprehensive e-commerce site, a mail-order catalog, and several retail stores.[20] The now forgotten retail establishment was one of the first retail/eCommerce companies to promote and build an entire model around the multi-channel shopping environment. [21] Two years after it’s launch, Gazoontite was known as the “poster child of Web-era excess and stupidity”.[22] Yu helped set the tone for what is now referred to as omni-channel retailing. [23]

He has received Webby Award,[24] Favorite Website Award,[25] Dope Award and Northern California finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.[26][27]



  • Soon Yu, Dave Birss (February 6, 2018). Iconic Advantage: Don't chase the new, innovate the old. Savio Republic. ISBN 978-1682615409


  • Soon Yu (July 2, 2018). Who Really Owns Your Brand? Chief Executive.
  • Soon Yu (May 19, 2018). Start-ups take note: Iconic brands bank on compelling story-telling in their quest for glory. First Post.
  • Soon Yu (April 2, 2018). Keep Your Sole Forever Young. Bulldog Drummond.
  • Soon Yu (March 28, 2018). 'Don't Chase the New, Innovate the Old': Four Lessons From Nike. Marketing Profs.


  1. ^ "Soon-Chart Yu - Parsons School of Design". Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  2. ^ "Event: Bryant Park HSBC Business & Finance: Iconic Advantage at Reading Room in Bryant Park". NYC Parks. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  3. ^ "Rave Reviews: Soon Yu's best-selling book "Iconic Advantage"". outspoken. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  4. ^ Iconic Advantage®. 2018-02-06. ISBN 9781682615409.
  5. ^ Nishi, Dennis (2014-12-07). "How to Break Your Bad Work Habits". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  6. ^ "How removing fear can be your innovation trump card". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  7. ^ Alter, Heather (2000-04-01). "Bay Of Gigs". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  8. ^ Donovan, Aaron (2000-04-02). "IN BRIEF; Can Be Far Behind?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  9. ^ "A Nose for Business / Entrepreneur molds his startup dreams into allergy-products specialty store". SFGate. 1999-03-31. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  10. ^ "UC Davis Magazine on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  11. ^ "The Secrets of Staying Power". Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  12. ^ "Art and Science Leads to Iconic Products". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  13. ^ Eu, Geoffrey (2017-08-12). "Soon Yu". The Business Times. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  14. ^ Sinton, Peter; Writer, Chronicle Senior (1999-03-31). "A Nose for Business / Entrepreneur molds his startup dreams into allergy-products specialty store". SFGate. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  15. ^ Sinton, Peter; Writer, Chronicle Senior (2001-01-11). "Gazoontite Gets Fresh Start". SFGate. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  16. ^ "Chiquita Brands International, Inc in Franklin Park, IL 60131 -". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  17. ^ Rubin, James Peter (May 14, 2001). "No Surrender". The Wall Street Journal.
  18. ^ Sinton, Peter (March 31, 1999). "A Nose for Business / Entrepreneur molds his startup dreams into allergy-products specialty store". SFGate.
  19. ^ "New Page 1". Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  20. ^ "The Hybrid Company: Reach All Your Customers Through Multi-Channels Anytime, Anywhere - PDF Free Download". Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  21. ^ "Gazoontite!".
  22. ^ Rubin, James Peter. "No Surrender". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  23. ^ "Gazoontite!".
  24. ^ "Chiquita Brands International | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  25. ^ "Eat A Chiquita". The FWA. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  26. ^ "Soon Yu". outspoken. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  27. ^ "Dopeawards blog » EAT A CHIQUITA". Retrieved 2017-04-14.