China´s largest companies might be going global, but their CEO´s stay put in China, unlike their colleagues from other countries, discovered WSJ wealth editor Wei Gu. And that is not good for their careers.
“How do you get a Chinese to move to Brazil in a developmental sequence? That’s a big challenge,” said Emmanuel Hemmerle, a senior adviser to Korn Ferry, an executive search firm. “China is such a high-growth market. Everyone sees that’s where the opportunity is.
The brightest workers in China get promoted quickly. On average, it takes 15 years for someone to move from intern to CEO in China, compared with 25 years outside China, according to Aon Hewitt. “Since there is an overall talent gap in China, companies tend to ask a high-potential Chinese to stretch into more senior roles to avoid using imported talent,” said Don Riegger, managing director at Deloitte & Touche Overseas Services LLP.
But for would-be executives, too much attachment to China can be risky for your career. As both state-owned and large private enterprises increasingly globalize, it’s Chinese managers with better language skills and a broader world view who are likely to ultimately succeed.
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