Procter & Gamble’s shiny new global R&D center in Singapore is a gleaming example of how major U.S. and European companies see the future of product innovation being concocted abroad rather than at home. But manufacturing CEOs and business owners face a number of issues in making a similar decision. The question becomes, “Is offshoring R&D the right decision for your business?”
There are all sorts of implications that can result from Toyota’s decision to pull up stakes in southern California and move its North American headquarters to northern Texas. The move will also underscore the importance of factors besides financial incentives as crucial determinants in the economic-development sweepstakes.
The coming succession of Ford CEO Alan Mulally by current COO Mark Fields in July—which was announced on Thursday—has had its ups and downs. But its relatively smooth path has lots of company chiefs and would-be CEOs admiring how the whole thing has been handled, and wishing and hoping they can do the same.
More CEOs and business owners are expressing confidence in U.S. economic growth these days, including decisions to boost capital spending and to lay out more cash to back up their new attitude. But their tea leaves remain muddied because of regular reminders that the American economy is still a long way from the robustness it enjoyed prior to the financial crash of 2008 and its subsequent Great Recession.
CEOs often opt to settle suits brought by environmentalists and other third parties against companies all around the world. Chevron CEO John Watson just demonstrated the potential rewards of sticking things out and fighting for ultimate justice rather than kowtowing to the rabid complaints of extreme progressives wanting to stick it to “big oil.”
There appears to be at least one thing new college graduates and established business leaders agree on these days: A college education is worth less and less in the job marketplace. Frustrated CEOs say colleges should do more to prepare students saying that merely having a degree doesn’t necessarily prepare them for the workforce.
Is it possible for a CEO to bear the brunt of responsibility with a crisis that festered before she was in charge? Can a company with a poor track record in corporate integrity ever do enough with new transparency measures to acquire a good reputation?
Landing the Tesla “gigafactory” will be an economic-development bonanza for one of the four states in the running. But beyond the borders of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or Nevada, the complex also could provide a huge innovation boost for the stubborn problem of increasing battery life in electric cars and unleash spinoff advancements in other electricity-related industries.
The University of Michigan and Ohio State University are bitter rivals on the football field and lots of other arenas. But as the lead institutions in the Defense Department’s new American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute, they’ll have to get along in a new federally funded effort to advance the manufacturing and use of lightweight, high-performing metals and alloys.
A survey of 300+ CEOs conducted in early May shows declining confidence in business conditions, even as economy reopens in many parts of the country and around the world. But there could be a silver lining.