Economic challenges in the post-global financial crisis period had forced many businesses to restructure their management apparatus with an aim of gaining new energy capable of driving firms to surmount current difficulties.

The biggest recent changes in high-ranking staff were noticed in the fields of finance and technology. Gtel, Microsoft, Lenovo, FPT, VTC, VDC, “giants” in the information technology, all had new managing directors.

The newly appointed chief executive officer of Microsoft Vietnam, Jamie Harper had worked with Microsoft for 12 years and had significant experience in newly emerging markets.

These staff developments were also reflected in domestic technology companies.

The Corporation for Financing and Promoting Technology (FPT) changed its management team, from chief executive officer (CEO) to deputy general director and key branding personnel.

State-owned enterprises like VDC and VTC were also expected to add to the new contingent of rejuvenated and skillful managers.

Big changes were also seen in the finance sector, from the banks such as HSBC, SeABank, TienPhongBank, VietinBank, to investment funds, securities companies and insurance companies such as BIC, Lien Viet, Manulife, SHS, VISecurities.

HSBC’s changes showed its message of needing managers with experience in a Vietnamese business climate, to realise its strategy of “A global bank understands locality” while many other financial institutions have replaced key positions because of inadequate business performance.

Nguyen Van Dao, General Director of Samsung Vina, said that the financial crisis came to Vietnam later than to other countries, appearing in 2009, while the biggest difficulties came in 2011. When the market encountered difficulties, companies were put under pressure to boost sales and restructure management.

Meanwhile, Tim Baxter, General Director of DHL Vietnam, said that it was very difficult to find high-ranking managers in a young market like Vietnam , especially in specific fields. DHL always faced a shortage of qualified workforce because of its clients’ demands.

Professor John H. Behzad, a US strategic consultant on financial services, technology management and training, warned at recent talks with Vietnamese firms that the biggest challenge for businesses was the shortage of a skilled workforce in industry and poor experience in governance.

According to the expert, staff competitiveness would draw out other competitiveness involving finance, customers and partners. He also suggested businesses take an advanced step in order to set up global firms./.