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back to index backGLOBALtalk December,  2004

Trends in Leadership: Overseas Chinese hired to lead local companies

Ethnic Chinese managers educated overseas are returning to fill leadership positions in local companies, reports Andrew Browne in The Wall Street Journal.

These executives, courted by multinationals to head their China operations, are opting to join national companies instead. This reflects the rising power of local firms and the exciting career opportunities they offer middle managers, notes Egon Zehnder's Xue-Cheng Zheng . In a multinational company, headquarters calls all the shots. But if you work for a Chinese company, you call the shots,” explains Xue-Cheng.

Despite fewer corporate perks, executives with local Chinese firms enjoy competitive pay and attractive stock option packages, notes the author. Joining local firms also enables them to participate in China's economic boom, while escaping the glass ceilings for ethnic Chinese at multinational companies.

A shortage of international management skills and the need for foreign capital has made Chinese firms keener than other Asian companies to hire talent from abroad. Yet although overseas Chinese may fit in better than foreigners, local recruits often resent their higher salaries and imported management methods, warns the author.

Source: Egon Zehnder International - GAI

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