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Interview with Charles Reed

MIS Asia Staff | Jan. 16, 2009
Charles Reed, CEO, DOCOMO interTouch (subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO), shares his views on senior IT executive employment and salary outlook for 2009

From your enterprise's perspective, how has the current financial turmoil effected senior IT employment, recruiting and salaries in this region?

Senior IT employment should be all about performance. The current financial situation will make it more challenging for senior executives to step up and perform beyond expectations. Therefore it is even more paramount for employers to set fair and effective performance measurement criteria, to ensure that the company maximises its return-on-investment when it comes to hiring.

What do you believe will be the overall 2009 outlook for IT recruitment, employment and salaries in the Asia pacific? Are there any specific countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China) where you see the situation as being better/worse than others?

I believe that in 2009, China will remain strong in terms of IT recruitment and still attract people with larger salary packages. ASEAN countries however may remain more static in the same respect.

How would you describe the current IT industry employment environment for senior execs in comparison to last year? When was this environment similar in recent times?

Across the IT industry in general, last years performance criteria was probably less critical and demanding. In 2009 however, key performance indicators will be more challenging. However given that the business environment is constantly evolving, this turn in trend is unsurprising.

What 2009 strategies do your enterprise plan to adopt relating to IT employment to cope with the current downturn?

To cope with the current downturn and retain our current hiring and retention plans, our focus will be on smart cost-cutting initiatives. We like software as a service as a form of effective cost-cutting and IT strategy. We will focus more strongly on activities that are critical to business and take a leaner approach on those that are less critical.

How difficult will it be in 2009 for senior IT people in the Asia Pacific region to find employment and which particular industry sectors are likely to be the toughest? How will your industry sector be affected?

For DOCOMO interTouch, we will ride out this crisis and maximise it to our full advantage, as we have tight fiscal discipline and a strong balance sheet. We will beat the competition.

What would be the top three messages that have come from your feedback on IT recruitment and salaries in the AP region in 2009?

1. If you are thinking of moving or taking on a new role, make sure the new company has a strong balance sheet. The companys financial muscle and outlook is much more important in influencing your decision to enter a new role, rather than factors such as monetary gains or the sake of moving out of your current job.


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