Vietnamese CEOs at multinationals – who are they?

Created 31 March 2018
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Years ago, only foreigners were appointed by multinationals to key posts at their branch offices in Vietnam. But that has changed.

vietnamese ceos at multinationals – who are they? hinh 0
More Vietnamese have been appointed to important positions at multinationals
In 1994, Pham Phu Ngoc Trai was appointed general director of PepsiCo Vietnam, then chair cum general director of PepsiCo Indochina, and later deputy chair of PepsiCo South East Asia. 

More Vietnamese have been appointed to important positions at multinationals recently in the so-called ‘personnel localization movement’. Vietnamese, with deep understanding of the domestic market and improved qualifications, are suitable candidates for key posts. 

Multinationals can also cut personnel costs if they hire Vietnamese instead of foreigners.

From 2007 to 2008, when the global financial crisis occurred, many Vietnamese names appeared in the key personnel structure of multinationals. 

Joining Deloitte Vietnam in 1991 and becoming director in 1998, Ha Thu Thanh became the chair of the big auditing firm in 2007. Vo Tan Long was appointed as CEO of IBM Vietnam in November 2008. 

Vo Quang Hue, an engineer, who lived and worked as an engineer for 20 years in Germany, became CEO of Robert Bosch Vietnam in February 2008. Hue was in the position until August 2017, when he resigned to join Vingroup as director of VinFast project.

In 2012 alone, four appointments of Vietnamese to the post of CEO of foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam were made. Pham Thai Lai was appointed chair and CEO of Siemens Vietnam in July 2012. Pham The Truong became CEO of SAP Vietnam in May 2012. 

Vu Minh Tri, after holding the posts of CEO of Sony Ericsson Vietnam, CEO of Yahoo Vietnam, and CEO of Qualcomm Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, became CEO of Microsoft Vietnam in July 2012. The post of CEO of Qualcomm in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia was assigned to Thieu Phuong Nam, also a Vietnamese.

More recently, Pham Hong Hai became the first Vietnamese CEO at HSBC Vietnam, while Pham Van Dung became CEO of Ford Vietnam. Nguyen Thi Bich Van, after 22 years of working for Unilever, was appointed the first Vietnamese female chair of Unilever Vietnam.

These Vietnamese CEOs at multinationals have spent many years living and working overseas. 

Pham Thai Lai, chair and CEO of Siemens Vietnam, for example, was born in Vietnam, but lived and worked in Europe for 30 years.

Vo Tan Long spent his 10 years in Russia before returning to Vietnam. Thieu Phuong Nam began working for Intel when he was 29 years old.

The so-called ‘personnel globalization movement’ can be seen most clearly at Coca Cola Vietnam. There are only two foreigners working for the company out of 2,500 workers.


Source: VOV

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