Trekking Toward Tokyo
May 1 1992 by JP Donlon
Readers of this space may recall last March seeing our calendar of future roundtables. We are adjusting the timing of our international events as follows: The St. Petersburg/ Moscow roundtable will be postponed until 1993, but our Tokyo event is being advanced to Nov. 5 to 9. The Chrysanthemum Revealed: Developing the Japanese Market, is designed to help CEOs overcome the technical and cultural difficulties that often stand in the way of tapping one of the richest, but perhaps most enigmatic, markets in the world.
The event will begin with a dinner forum co-hosted with the Keidanren where Japan’s Minister of Finance will address our CEOs and their spouses. On Saturday, Nov. 7, we will hold the roundtable discussion with North American, EC and Japanese CEOs exploring such topics as the complexity of business relationships, satisfying the customer, controlling distribution, and coping with uneven regulation. In addition to the formal program, on Sunday Nov. 8, we will offer an itinerary of cultural events to help our CEOs and their spouses enjoy a more complete and satisfying Tokyo experience.
Last year, the Gulf War forced us to host our roundtable on Eastern Europe in New York City. Ambassador Roy Huffington and the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria are holding their second conference in Vienna on June 1 to 2 to help middle-market companies identify opportunities in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Roy is convinced that with the end of the Cold War, Vienna’s prominence as the commercial gateway to the Danube region has grown, and he wants to motivate U.S. leaders to act now. The former independent Texas oilman tells me he’s made commercial support the embassy’s top priority. CE hopes to team up with Roy for a roundtable next year, but those who want to get started now or need information about the June conference (to be held at the Vienna Hilton), can contact him at Embassy, Austria, Boltzmanngasse 16, 1090 Vienna. Tel. (431) 31 55 11, fax (431) 34 12 61.
Perhaps our most important event is naming the recipient of our Chief Executive of the Year award. Nominations from CEO and president readers have yielded (see box) a formidable group of ten finalists this year. Food, discount retailing and diversified electrical equipment company leaders appear to dominate, but those from steel, pharmaceuticals, and basic manufacturing also are represented. Inexplicably, service firms failed to place a CEO in the top 10. Similarly, Disney, a hot contender in recent years, did not make the list.
In the July/August issue we’ll reveal our choice-a most difficult one judging by this group-made by the eight present and former CEOs who comprise the selection committee. Stay tuned.