Why companies in Asia tend to hire foreigners to fill top positions

Interesting insight on why multinational companies in Asia tend to hire foreigners (read: Caucasians, Indians, or native citizens of the origin of the company, like Japanese) to fill top positions in the country’s operation:

They want people at the top who “understand the company culture”, and will “ensure communication flows easily between HQ and the region”, says Stuart Clark, a Brit who runs regional and global client relationships for media agency Havas Media, based in Singapore.

Apart from that, the communication part actually deals with speaking English:

And articulation in a business like advertising is key, he says. “Articulating nuance, brand platforms, ideas and strategies is tested every day in our business,” he says. Which can work against you if you’re not completely comfortable speaking English.

There’s more. It’s about the tendency of Asians to be introverted or shying away from confrontation:

The Asian tendency to be—and this is another massive generalisation—introverted by nature is a trait that doesn’t always mesh with a career in advertising, says Goh Shu Fen, co-owner of pitch consultancy R3. “We are less likely to go on about how great we are and we tend to be less flamboyant, which is a huge disadvantage in advertising,” she says.

What a way to start this Thursday.

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