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CEO Daily Brief – Oct. 21, 2010

China’s Economic Growth Cools as Inflation Accelerates China’s economy grew 9.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 and inflation …

China’s Economic Growth Cools as Inflation Accelerates

China’s economy grew 9.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 and inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in almost two years, adding weight to calls for the engine of the global recovery to let its currency appreciate more rapidly.

Growth exceeded the 9.5 percent median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Consumer prices jumped 3.6 percent in September from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in Beijing. That matched the median forecast.

China’s expansion, running at more than three times the pace of growth in the U.S., may add fuel to arguments that the second-largest economy can withstand a stronger yuan as Group of 20 officials gather to discuss currencies in South Korea later this week. China raised interest rates on Oct. 19 for the first time since the global crisis, affirming policy makers’ confidence in the recovery and concern at price pressures. For details from Bloomberg, please click here.

Accenture Names Pierre Nanterme CEO, Replacing Green

Accenture Plc, the world’s second-largest technology-consulting firm, named company veteran Pierre Nanterme chief executive officer, replacing Bill Green at the start of next year. Green, 57, will remain chairman, the Dublin-based company said. Nanterme, who has been at Accenture for 27 years, will join the company’s board immediately.

Nanterme, 51, will compete with International Business Machines Corp. for consulting projects as companies increase technology spending after the economic slump.

He has run Accenture’s financial-services business, which makes up more than 20 percent of revenue, since 2007. Prior to that, he ran Accenture units in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Green started as CEO in September 2004 and became chairman two years later.

For more about the appointment from Bloomberg, please click here.

Surprising News for CEOs about Product Recalls

Virtually every company has had the experience of making a significant and embarrassing mistake they’d rather not have their customers know about. If the humiliation alone weren’t bad enough, the mistake’s discovery might also have sizable financial consequences that rub salt in the wound. Our natural impulse is to fix the big problem quietly, hoping our customers don’t notice so we can minimize the damage.

It turns out this is actually the worst thing we can do, since inadvertent mishaps create rare and powerful moments of truth through which customer loyalty can be strengthened and preserved. That’s the surprising finding of a nationally representative study of customer attitudes and behavior in response to the recent spate of high-profile product recalls. Transparently and courageously admitting a significant mistake to protect your customers’ interests is something they don’t see very often, and it leaves a powerful and lasting impression on them.

Customers are forgiving, if companies respond properly. They understand that mistakes can happen in even the best-run companies. To find out more about the study from Business Week, please click here.

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