Evolving changes have thrust China back in the spotlight this quarter, as we consider their impact on business. The slowing growth rate; the switch in government leadership; the tackling of corporate and political corruption and the continued rebalancing of the economy, are creating widespread change and uncertainty. As a result, the Corporate Affairs function is increasingly providing advice and strategies to key executives on how to navigate these turbulent waters.
China’s assertive approach to consumer protection and national interests, e.g. anti-bribery and food security is a catalyst to controversies in a number of industries. We need only look at recent events concerning GSK, Nestlé and Coca-Cola to see the effects of government, media or the general public visibly questioning corporate behavior. It is essential for Corporate Affairs executives to effectively handle these issues strategically, both in the boardroom and out in the field with key stakeholders.
2013: growing importance for Corporate Affairs in China.
Recent scandals have focused the spotlight on a broad range of industries from genetically modified crops, to pharmaceuticals, and shadow banking.
The call for large corporations to operate responsibly is heard loud and clear, driven by increasingly vibrant mainstream media; social media netizens; vigilant government bodies and communities standing up to take action.
Today’s CEOs and directors increasingly rely on Corporate Affairs leaders to operate as astute business counselors. Their growing role is to advise the organization on avoiding franchise threatening events, or neutralizing them if things go wrong. Evidently, they play a key part in helping organizations in China navigate this alternating business landscape.
21st Century Fox | 21st Century Fox has announced Julie Henderson will join the organization as Executive Vice President of Communications. Henderson will join from News Corp. where was Chief Communications Officer.
Diageo | Charlotte Lambkin will join Diageo as Corporate Relations Director in January 2014. She will take over the role from Ian Wright, who has held the position since 2004. Lambkin is currently Group Communications Director at BAE Systems.
Walmart | Walmart announced that Dan Bartlett will become the company’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Previously, Bartlett was president and CEO of the U.S. arm of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global business advisory firm.
ASIA PACIFIC MOVES
Clarins Groupe | Berenice Voets has joined the Clarins Groupe as Asia-Pacific Public Affairs Director. Prior to Clarins, Voets was Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Director at APCO Worldwide.
HTC | Taiwan-based mobile giant HTC has appointed Lorain Wong Vice President of Global Public Relations, Corporate and Internal Communications. Most recently, Wong headed Marketing and Communications at Pacnet.
Landmark Asia | Tod Gimbel has joined Landmark Asia as Managing Director of Public Affairs. Gimbel joins Landmark from Citi where he held the role of Managing Director, Head of Global Government Affairs - Asia.
L’Oreal | L’Oreal has appointed Tanya Abbott Group Corporate Communications Manager. The newly created role will allow Abbott to oversee internal and external communications at a country level, whilst also directing public affairs.
Syngenta | Mun Pew Khong has become ASEAN Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta. Khong joined Syngenta in April from Bryan Cave, where he held the position of Government and Regulatory Affairs Director.
Weber Shandwick | Weber Shandwick has appointed Tyler Kim Head of Corporate and Crisis Communications for Asia Pacific. He will take on this responsibility in addition to his current role as Managing Director of Weber Shandwick Korea.
Russell Reynolds Associates is a global leader in assessment, recruitment and succession planning for Chief Executive Officers, boards of directors, and key roles within the C-suite. With more than 300 consultants in 41 offices around the world, we work closely with both public and private organizations across all industries and regions. We help our clients build boards and executive teams that can meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital, economic, environmental and political trends that are reshaping the global business environment. www.russellreynolds.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RRAonLeadership