Dec 1, 2012 RECRUITMENT company Harvey Nash said the growth of its IT outsourcing business in Vietnam had helped it to offset a four per cent decline in permanent recruitment in the UK and Ireland.

The group, which employs 4,000 people in 40 offices around the world, said it had performed ahead of expectations with revenue and gross profits up 10 per cent and five per cent respectively between August 1 and November 29.

Chief executive Albert Ellis said: “The economic uncertainty throughout the world has meant clients have tended to favour flexible contract and temporary hiring above permanent recruitment.

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Jul 23, 2012 Wanted: A chief executive officer who is financially astute and digital tech-savvy with strong leadership skills, vision, execution, and international experience.

According to management psychologists, executive recruiters and consultants, ceo’s need to be as well versed in the profit and loss and balance sheet as they are in merchandising, marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and mobile technology. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to find top talent that not only has the vision, leadership, execution and interpersonal skills but also the technological, supply chain logistics and international know-how to successfully lead a global organization.

So what does the face of the new ceo look like?

“The onslaught of online is changing the kind of business strategy and leadership profile that flows from that in terms of people ready for the future.” He recently conducted research that concluded the major challenge for ceo’s and their boards is figuring out the leadership requirements of the future, as their companies and sectors are changing so quickly and so dramatically.

In the Sixties, a lot of work with automobile executives. “We used to describe them as ‘high speed, low torque.’ When the road was straight and flat and not particularly winding, they were great executives. When the road started turning with big bends, they were out of their element,” he said. “That’s what’s happening in many industry sectors because the world is changing so rapidly. You’ve got different forms of competition. At retail, you’ve got online and changing consumer buying patterns. The kind of leadership — intellectual agility, being able to think and formulate strategy beyond one’s experience, being able to shape a company and culture that thinks and acts in a more agile way — is going to be the difference between ceo’s who make it and those that don’t. Finding someone who merely has a great track record within an existing industry sector, such as retail, could have a lot of potholes in it.”

There’s no question an understanding of digital technology is having an impact on the type of ceo being sought. According to a recent Ad Age study, the U.S.’ largest advertisers, namely Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever and L’Oréal, devote 10 percent of their ad budgets to digital.

Source: Advertising Age: The Top 100 Advertisers

“It’s a digital tsunami,” said Hal Reiter, chairman and ceo of Herbert Mines Associates. “You need to get a guy who’s managed it or is open to it and is ­progressive-thinking. You can’t get anyone over 40 who grew up in it. They simply don’t exist.”

Reiter also said having international experience is important, but that’s an expertise that can be brought in from the outside.

“I can’t tell you how many board searches I’m working on today where they all want that digital [experience]. From a digital perspective, the age of the active ceo’s or the top people in the organization are much younger than the board. It was hard for boards to get used to having these young, aggressive people on their boards. But that’s who this business is made up of. They’re a younger group of executives. These are people who are going on boards and being considered for ceo roles. There’s a huge shift going on.”

“The biggest difference I’ve seen is what I would describe as the amalgamation of the ceo and chief operating officer roles. Historically, the ceo has been charged with charting the course and providing the vision. In many companies, the chief operating officer was charged with bringing that vision to life and executing [it],” Charron said. “Today, that vision without execution and execution without vision is a lose-lose. There’s much less margin for error. Boards are much more demanding, shareholders are much less patient and oversight is much more apparent. Regardless of what the title says, you have to have the vision and drive execution. If you come up short on either, I don’t think the future is bright for you or your company.”

Skills that have always been in demand are functional ones, such as finance and marketing, and attributes such as leadership, intellect, integrity and vision, she said. “I think you have to add more skills today to that traditional list. We’re dealing in this complex, global environment.”

And in a global economy, new skills come into play. “One skill is cross-culture communication. It’s being able to adapt to an ever-­changing work environment, whether it’s technology, geography, culturally different people, language…all those nuances an executive needs to bring to the table,” Goudas said.

“The other piece is that executives need to wield digital influence. They need to be effectively using online networks. They need to see the digital picture. And, they must have laser focus.”

“These are complex companies and global organizations, and a lot of very good executives we have groomed in North America are not groomed holistically to handle the complexity of the back end, as well as having the vision to drive the front end.” The ante has gone up tremendously. “We are likely to look at an organization and company that have provided mobility for their executives so they have had the opportunity to live in multiple markets and multiple cultures, and so they are not solely ‘centric’ in one market.”

Source: (Subscription)

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May 9, 2012. Logistics contracts have decreased significantly in the wake of a sharp fall of import-export orders, industry insiders said.

Pham Quang Thang, a senior executive of FedEx, an express forwarding firm, told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (Saigon Economic Times) that the number of logistic orders had been on the decrease; a drop of 30-40 per cent was seen from garment companies – the biggest client of FedEx. The air transport company mainly carries samples of products foreign companies outsource to Vietnamese companies.

Thang said that his company’s turnover kept growing, but the rising rate had clearly slowed down, a common problem of nearly all express forwarding firms. He estimated that the growth of the business had currently decreased to 10-20 per cent from the rate of 30-40 per cent of the previous years.

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Last February the former chief executive of KBR, Inc. was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in a massive, decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to win $6 billion in contracts for development of the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas facility.

Albert “Jack” Stanley, 69, had pleaded guilty in September 2008 in a scheme to route $182 million in bribes to Nigerian government officials. And his sentencing sent a chill through executive suites of not just U.S. corporations, but multi-national and non-U.S. foreign corporations as well.

But what really caught the attention of the executive suite world-wide was the degree to which persons and companies outside of the United States became caught up in a bribery and kick-back scandal prosecuted under a law generally thought to affect only U.S. companies.

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Confronted with evidence of widespread corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing, an examination by The New York Times found.

Apr 21, 2012. In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.

The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

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PHNOM PENH. Apr 3, 2012. Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said he is stepping up plans to revamp the country’s bloated state sector that have led to a series of debilitating credit-rating downgrades and pressured Vietnam’s fragile currency.

In written responses to questions posed by The Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of a regional summit in Cambodia, Mr. Dung said he plans to push Vietnam’s state-owned enterprises into closer competition with the private sector to make them more efficient, and to revive a stalled series of partial privatizations, a process known in Vietnam as “equitization.” Creating a more level playing field between the private and state sectors, Mr. Dung said, “is one of the key components of economic restructuring.”

Vietnam’s once-booming economy has foundered in recent years, thrown off balance in part by burgeoning debts at some of its sprawling state-owned enterprises. Mr. Dung’s government previously had adopted a policy of encouraging Vietnam’s big state-owned firms, which control about 40% of the country’s economic output, to diversify into new industries and provide a powerful counterweight to a deluge of foreign investment into the nation.

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When: Fri, Feb 24th 2012 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Where: New World Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

Event Background

The Chairman of the world’s most international law firm shares his unique perspectives on the important role of emerging markets in the current uncertain economic environment, and the special opportunities and challenges they present to multinational companies and their advisors.

When he was elected Chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s Executive Committee in June 2010, Mr. Leite said, “Change is transforming the business world and, with it, the legal profession. We will continue to lead and embrace that change, to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve in meeting our clients’ evolving needs. The fluent way in which we serve our clients is our greatest strength and will remain a critical success factor in the future, when global economies are increasingly interdependent.”

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Firm Details Labor Conditions as Unruly Fans Mar Beijing Debut of New iPhone

Apple Inc. is increasingly finding itself pinched between the promise and perils of doing business in China.

That challenge was thrown into sharp relief by a pair of developments Friday. Under pressure from activists in the U.S. and abroad, the company released a 27-page report detailing working conditions throughout its supply chain, which sprawls throughout Asia, but especially China.

The report followed an unexpected fracas outside an Apple store in Beijing, after fans couldn’t get their hands on the latest iPhone.

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HANOI, July 8 (Reuters) – State oil group Petrovietnam and its partners may buy $ 1.5 billion in Vietnamese oil assets in the contentious South China Sea from ConocoPhillips , according to Petrovietnam’s chief executive.

Petrovietnam’s plan demonstrates a commitment to help protect Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea, as it calls the disputed area, the company’s chief executive, Phung Dinh Thuc, was quoted as saying.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts or all of the South China Sea, a territory believed to be sitting on rich deposits of oil, gas and minerals, as well as being a major shipping lane.

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