The CEO position in China over the last year and its impact on executive search.

pexels-mentatdgt-936564.jpg

Times are changing. In our day-to-day job in executive search and organizational consulting, we have seen firsthand how quickly the market evolves, becoming extremely challenging for companies to keep pace with these transformations and how these changes have influenced how things are done and the way management positions are reshaped to adapt to new situations. And China, one of the world's strongest economies, has not escaped this situation. The past year and the first half of 2022 have been particularly difficult for companies in China due to covid-19 and lockdowns. These situations have impacted the role of the CEO in China, and companies and executive search firms operating in China should be aware.

 

Agility, resilience, empathy, digital fluency, inclusive leadership and interpersonal communication are some of the new leadership skills companies require in order to optimize performance in today's business environment and in the new hybrid work model. According to the study "2022 survey of CEOs called Reset and Reimagine: Surviving and Thriving in a Uniquely Challenging Business Environment", CEOs in China believe that for new leaders, technical skills alone are not enough.

With so many fires to be solved every day by companies in China, CEOs have seen the importance of having clear priorities and long-term goals.

There is no doubt that these have been hard times for the CEOs in China and, although people holding this position have learned valuable lessons on how to manage times of crisis, it has somehow worn some of them out and, in some cases, affected their confidence and positivity. According to the “25th Annual Global Recharting, the path to sustained outcomes CEO Survey” China reported that only 62% of CEOs in mainland China believed that global economic growth and gross domestic product will improve. This answer shows a decrease from the 72% positive responses surveyed in 2021. Not only does the covid pandemic affect the expectations of CEOs in China but the undergoing economic reforms have also influenced CEOs’ future perspectives.

Some of the most worrying topics for CEOs in China affecting their ability to raise capital, according to the same report, are:

  • Disruption in their sales

  • Cyber risk

  • Geopolitical conflict

  • Macroeconomic volatility

 

After knowing the factors that have affected CEOs in China, we can conclude that, as the pressures grew, the logical response to success is strong leadership that is capable of uniting people when a crisis is overcome. That is why, as an executive search firm, we strongly recommend paying special attention to soft skills when hiring as well as having a good plan succession plan. This translates not only to the CEO role but to all key positions in a company. That capacity of leadership and a united team can make the difference between succeeding or despairing in these difficult times.

In Zavala Civitas we are specialized in executive search & organizational consulting in China. If you ever feel in need of our services or would like more information, feel free to contact us.