POWER OF IT
To The Editor:
CE’s roundtable, “Linking Business Strategy With Information Technology” (CE: March 1994), was clearly one of the most thought-provoking in the magazine’s history. Sharing my experience as the head of a $750 million transportation services company was an enlightening exercise.
The dialogue highlighted efforts by participants to harness information technology to serve their businesses and customers. New products and services cannot be developed or marketed in a global arena without comprehensive data processing capabilities to support such activities and to ensure high productivity and quality.
The financial services industry, in particular, requires such processing capabilities. A Kansas City Southern Industries subsidiary, DST Systems, has capitalized on the need for quality support. Nonetheless, it was helpful for me to compare our strategies for DST with those of other chiefs and companies at the roundtable.
Landon H. Rowland
President and Chief Executive
Kansas City Southern Industries
Kansas City, MO
To The Editor:
I was delighted to read your N.B. profile on Chairman Jong-Hyon Chey of Sunkyong Group (CE: October 1993). We have had dealings with the chairman and respect his business acumen.
However, I would like to point out that while the story refers to Sunkyong’s alliance with the Fleming Cos., a major U.S. grocery wholesaler, it doesn’t mention the fact that Sunkyong Group first approached my company, IGA, which is partially owned by Fleming. We devised a strategy in which Fleming would serve as a resource in Sunkyong’s aggressive plan to become the supermarket leader in Korea. The stores the company has opened in China to date have promise, and in the future, Sunkyong might do well to establish relationships with some of our other companies.
The start of a new business for a company like Sunkyong doesn’t move quite as rapidly as executives would like, but it is better to ensure the foundation is properly set before moving forward. I believe we’ll see dynamic growth in the next 12 months.
Chairman Chey is a unique leader, meticulous in his planning and inspirational in his outlook. Thank you for highlighting his accomplishments.
Thomas S. Haggai
To The Editor:
In “A Note From The Chief Executive” (CE: October 1993), new President and CEO Arnold B. Pollard indicated two aims: “to make a good thing even better” and “to more thoroughly fulfill the potential of this unique franchise.”
I think CE can (and probably must) become more of a tool that will encourage, facilitate, and promote a more “comprehensive vision” for the future of our nation, and the role that business leadership should play in shaping our world. This may begin by: realizing that the CEO function covers a wide spectrum of activities (not just business); and addressing foundational issues and fundamental principles regularly so as to refresh executives’ memories, as well as to help engrossed CEOs think about such issues and not just major strategic business moves and developments.
CEOs are well-equipped to play a leadership role-one that is proactive, not reactive- in shaping our world and in promoting a high standard of values for human liberty and existence. CE would do well to foster executives’ participation in this endeavor.
Victor G. Bitar
Chairman and Chief Executive