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中国为何输出不了世界级CEO?

更新时间:2014-4-4 21:05:16 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

The appointment of India-born Satya Nadella as Microsoft Corp.'s CEO has caused a bit of a stir in China, where people are questioning why Indians but not Chinese are getting top jobs in the U.S.

Language and familiarity with Western culture are the obvious reasons why chief executives such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo Inc., Anshu Jain of Deutsche Bank AG and MasterCard Inc.'s Ajay Banga have succeeded in the West. But headhunters also say Indians are more willing to move than Chinese, who see more opportunity and good pay at home.

Salaries for management positions at the director level in China are already $131,000 a year, almost the same as in Japan, and four times as much as in India, where executives at that level earn $35,000 on average. Chinese pay is just one-fifth lower than the average level in the U.S., according to a survey of technology companies by Aon Hewitt, a human-resources consulting company.

While India remains a tough place to live, China has become more comfortable in recent years, ranking as the No.1 country for expatriates in an HSBC survey. Even those Chinese executives who move away to escape pollution and a slowing economy are more likely to land in Hong Kong or Singapore than get real international experience in markets such as Southeast Asia or Latin America.

'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.'

China suffers from a shortage of top talent, despite its enormous pool of university graduates, with 7.3 million more expected in 2014. Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. suggests in a report that fewer than 10% of Chinese job candidates on average would be suitable for work in a foreign company because of their poor command of English and an education system that focuses on theory rather than practical skills.

Western companies aren't always the employer of choice in China anymore. State-owned enterprises and private companies are bidding for home-grown talent. With so much attention lavished on the most promising executives in China, many feel their opportunities are greater at home than abroad.

They may be right. 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.

In the consumer-goods industry, for example, executives in China can receive substantially higher pay than their counterparts in the U.S., according to Mr. Hemmerle. Chinese executives who moved abroad sometimes received smaller raises and were promoted less rapidly.

In some cases, multinational companies want to keep their best Chinese executives inside China because the market is so important to them. However, that could hurt the careers of those executives, because they become known as China specialists and are seen as less adaptable to other markets. In other cases, companies that try to send their Chinese executives abroad often feel a push-back.

Charles Wu, a 36-year veteran at International Business Machines Corp. who has worked both in the U.S. and China, has seen a lot of Chinese employees go on international assignments and come back in a year or two. 'They tell me China is developing very quickly and they don't want to be out of touch,' Mr. Wu said.

But there are downsides to being too attached to China. The risk is that they are overtaken in their careers by the next wave of Chinese managers, many of whom have better language skills and a broader world view.

Chinese executives who choose to work for domestic companies to avoid foreign postings could also be surprised. Increasingly, large Chinese private enterprises require multiple assignments outside China for executives to move up the ranks. State-owned enterprises are also globalizing and sending staff abroad.

Beijing native Amy Yang said she doesn't regret moving to the U.S. in 2007 with a major consumer-goods maker, even though headhunters tell her that she might have been promoted faster and gotten better pay if she had stayed.

'If I just stayed in China, I would not have opportunities to build brands and lead innovation at the global level,' said Ms. Yang, who is now looking for opportunities either in the U.S. or Asia. 'A career is a marathon, not a sprint. My global experience will pay out in the long run.'

印度出生的纳德拉(Satya Nadella)被任命为微软公司首席执行长,这在中国引起了震动。中国人不明白,为什么获得美国大公司高层职位的常常是印度人而不是中国人。

为何百事公司的诺伊(Indra Nooyi)、德意志银行的简恩(Anshu Jain)和万事达卡的彭安杰(Ajay Banga)这些印度(裔)CEO能在西方大企业里取得成功?他们对英语的熟练掌握以及对西方文化的熟悉是显而易见的原因。但还有一个鲜为人知的因素:印度人远比中国人更愿意到别处去工作,而中国人在国内有更多的机会和不错的薪水,往往不愿意背井离乡出去闯荡。

根据人力资源咨询公司怡安翰威特(Aon Hewitt)针对科技公司的一项调查,中国主管职位(director)的年薪已经达到13.1万美元,几乎与日本并肩,比印度更是高出三倍。印度这种层次高管的平均年薪只有3.5万美元。中国大陆的高管薪资水平仅比美国低五分之一,比韩国和台湾都要高。

在印度生活还是挺艰苦的,而近年来中国的生活条件已变得相当舒适,这也解释了为什么中国人不愿意出国。在汇丰的一项对驻外人员的调查中,中国俨然成为外派人员的首选目的地。即便有些中国高级经理为了躲避空气污染而逃离大陆,他们也更可能选择落脚香港或新加坡,而不是去东南亚或拉丁美洲等新兴市场去获得真正的国际经验。

高级猎头公司光辉国际(Korn Ferry)的高级顾问寒山 (Emmanuel Hemmerle)说,中国人一般不会为了职业发展,去巴西等地方锻炼。中国是一个高速增长的市场,每个人都认为这里最有机会。尽管中国有数量庞大的大学毕业生(预计2014年将有730万毕业生),但十分缺乏高端人才。咨询公司麦肯锡指出,由于中国学生英语能力不够,教育体系又偏重理论而非实践技能,因此中国求职者中适合在外国公司工作的不到10%。

在中国,外企已不再是求职者的上选,国有企业和私营企业对本土人才越来越有吸引力。由于中国最有前途的高管被各路企业争夺,所以很多人感觉他们在中国的机会比国外多。

他们的感觉或许是对的。怡安翰威特称,最优秀的人才在中国能迅速获得提拔。在中国从实习生晋升为首席执行长需要15年时间,而在其他国家和地区则需要25年。德勤(Deloitte & Touche Overseas Services LLP)董事总经理Don Riegger称,由于中国高层人才的短缺,公司往往会过度提拔那些有潜力的年轻中国管理人员,以避免从外部引进人才。

据寒山称,在消费产品行业,中国高管的薪资已经高于美国同行。中国高管有时甚至会为搬到国外付出代价。他们在国内习惯了两位数的年薪资涨幅,在海外很少超过5%。而在成熟市场的人才供应充足,晋升的速度也比较慢。

有些跨国公司也希望让公司最优秀的中国高管留在中国,因为中国市场对公司而言很重要,懂得中国市场的人才又不够丰富。这可能会影响这些高管的职业生涯,因为他们会被看作中国专家,而非到了其它市场也能适应的全才。也有跨国公司努力想要培养来自中国的人才,让他们在海外锻炼,但这些人才自己往往不那么愿意。在IBM工作了36年的吴宝淳看到很多中国员工被派到海外后一两年后又回到中国。这些员工告诉他,中国发展非常快,他们不想与中国脱节。

但老是守着中国市场也不是办法,中国的年轻经理人可能给其带来竞争压力,因为新生代往往英语能力更强,也具备更广阔的国际视野。事实上,不仅是外企,像华为和海尔这样的中国大型民营企业在提拔高管时越来越要求他们拥有多次外派的经历。国有企业也在试图实现全球化,并将员工派到海外去,所以海外经验变得越来越重要。

外派工作可能短期来说有损失,但长远来说可能是明智之举。北京人Amy Yang 在2007年时被一家美国大型消费品生产商派到了总部工作,现正在寻找美国或亚洲的工作机会。尽管猎头告诉她,她要是留在国内晋升速度或许更快,薪资也更高,但她对这一决定并不感到后悔。“如果我一直留在国内,可能就没有机会在国际层面打造品牌并带领创新。”她说,“职场是一场马拉松,而不是冲刺,我的海外工作经历会在今后获得回报。”

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