For years, U.S., European and Japanese companies have been building up blue-collar and back-office operations and representative offices in places like mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Now top-level executives are joining them, increasing the amount of quality time they spend in those areas.
Take General Electric , the U.S. corporate powerhouse whose products include medical equipment, turbines and locomotives.
Last year, John Rice, vice chairman of G.E. and president and chief executive of global growth and operations for the company, relocated with his wife to Hong Kong.
The move was “part substance and part symbolism,” Mr. Rice said in an interview at his Hong Kong office. “Being outside the United States makes you smarter about global issues. It lets you see the world through a different lens.”
Mr. Rice had traveled to Asia many times and visited China for the first time in 1989.
“I’ve come to China close to 100 times,” he said, “but I’ve learned more about China in the last 18 months than I did in the preceding 20 years.”
Michael Andrew, who took over as global chairman of KPMG International last October, echoed that sentiment.Page 2 of 6 | Prev Page | Next Page