Fri, Jul 12, 2002 - Page 11 News List

Corporate executives say state firms unappealing

POLITICS-AVERSE A recent poll of business executives shows that the Cabinet's plan to attract more of them to the nation's state-owned enterprises will be very difficult

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA , TAIPEI

Few corporate executives have any interest in taking the helm at a state-run enterprise, a survey showed yesterday, as most cite a concern over the level of political interference the positions entail.

Opposition KMT lawmaker Apollo Chen (陳學聖) revealed the results of the survey, conducted by www.1111.com (1111, 人力銀行).

The Cabinet announced in late June that it would implement plans to recruit corporate executives from the private sector to serve as chairmen, presidents, directors and supervisors of state-owned enterprises.

The plan aims to develop more professional management of and a distinct demarcation of powers of responsibility at state-run firms, according to Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), director general of the Cabinet's Central Personnel Administration.

While the government has said it will give executives ample autonomy to run the businesses and choose their own teams, the survey showed that none of the respondents said they would be willing to take part in the screening process for filling such positions.

About 45.2 percent of corporate managers surveyed have no intention of voluntarily seeking the positions, 26.9 percent said they have little interest and only 15.4 percent expressed a willingness to take part -- if and only if others recommend them, the poll said.

A whopping 84.6 percent of respondents cited political interference for their disinterest, 42.3 percent said that such a move would not fit in with their career plans, 38.5 percent said that they felt they would be unable to do their best in the jobs, and 15.4 percent cited the low salary.

Indeed, according to the Cabinet plan, potential candidates for the top spots at state-run enterprises may well have to answer to the Legislative Yuan -- something many of the current politically-appointed chairmen have tried hard to avoid.

The survey was conducted between June 25 and July 5 among corporate managers at 911 companies with reported annual revenues of over NT$2 billion (US$59.7 million). Of those 911 companies, 115 handed in valid responses .

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