Work progress

Global firms that changed top execs after China biz hurdle





Reprinted from Chinadaily

There were major changes in China's multinational sector in last year. Some resigned, some stepped down and some were promoted. Here's a look at the big names of global companies who either ran into winter chill or who turned the heat up in cold December.


Tesla Motor China

Tesla China announced in December 2014 its president Veronica Wu has resigned. Wu's resignation comes less than nine months after taking the reins for the US electric carmaker in China. She joined in December 2013 as vice-president.

Tesla Motors Inc Founder and CEO Elon Musk said in January this year that the sales in China were 'unexpectedly weak' during the fourth quarter in 2014.

In March, the company's China CEO Kingston Chang left after his one-year long serving.

Tom Zhu assumed operational leadership after joining as head of the carmaker's charging network development in China in April.


Tesco Plc

CEO Philip Clarke stepped down in October 2014 after running the British retailer for three years since 2011. 

In 2013 the British company entered into a joint venture with China Resources Enterprise.

Last year, Tesco China sold its 135 retail stores for 20 percent shares of the joint venture.

In May, China Resources Enterprise announced the store's brand would be replaced by China Resources Vanguard

In September, Tesco Plc admitted it inflated profits in the first half of 2014. Dave Lewis from Unilever took over the CEO position.


Qoros Automotive Co

Chairman and CEO Guo Qian was promoted to deputy chairman of Chery Automotive Co in December last year.  

The young global carmaker headquartered in China was founded in December 2007 as a joint venture between Chery Automotive Co and Israel Corporation.

Guo chaired the company for seven years while serving Chery Automotive as executive deputy general manager.

Chery Automotive's deputy general manager Chen Anning replaced Guo Qian as the Chairman of Qoros Auto.

In December 2014, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing Stefano Villanti was replaced by Sun Xiaodong, and Sun also took the general manager position in Qoros sales company.

In January this year, Phil Murtaugh joined Qoros as the new CEO.


Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd

President of the sports car distribution company in China Jenny Zheng Jinlan retired after the large-scale global recall in 2014 due to substandard materials in accelerator pedal arms.  

Zheng joined Aston Martin Lagonda (China) Automobile Distribution Co in 2012 as the president, and Aston Michael Mingshan Peng assumed the president position on Feb 1.

In February 2014, the company started a recall of 17,590 cars, including all of its left-hand-drive models built since November 2007, and all right-hand-drive models built since May 2012, affecting about 75 percent of all vehicles built in that period.

The British luxury carmaker blamed the safety problem on a subcontractor in Guangdong province for using sub-standard plastic material in making accelerator pedal arms.


McDonald's Corp

The US fast food chain influenced by the supplier scandal last year announced that the president and CEO and member of the board of directors Don Thompson will retire from March 1 after nearly 25 years of service to the company. McDonald's Steve Easterbrook will replace Thompson as President and CEO, and he was also elected to the Board of Directors. 

Mc Donald's Corporation registered 9 percent drop in consolidated operating income globally last year, and 20 percent decrease in the fourth quarter.

In January, the company announced that the drop was 'primarily due to the impact of the previously-disclosed supplier issue in APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa) and weak operating performance in the US.'

In July last year, the news of the supplier scandal broke that the restaurants was found using expired meat across China.