Success Despite the Corporation

All organizations are political in one way or another. If groups of people are involved, there will be some measure of political behavior. This entry is about the success of an individual and the political stupidity of the corporation.

Tom worked his way up “the ladder”– professional, manager, director, vice president. His first vice president job was for a global corporation, in Troy Michigan, about 80,000 employees in 120+ countries. He was responsible for the corporation’s Expatriate Program, Global Policy and Practice, and managing the Region Human Resources Directors in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia Pacific.

Six months into the job Tom released the local Chinese guy who resided in Shanghai China and held the position of Human Resources Director of China. At the time that position managed / lead the HR function in several China plants, 1000’s of people. The guy was in his late 40’s and retired on the job. After multiple trips to Asia to interview replacements, Tom hired Sony for the Director’s position. She held degrees in Biology and Secondary Education, had years of experience in education and in H.R. with two USA-based global corporations with operations in China.

Tom supervised Sony and other global directors from the Troy office. Sony came up to speed quickly. The Asia Pacific region grew and Tom moved to Shanghai to fill the the new VP of HR for the Asia Pacific position. At the time the company had 19 manufacturing plants in 11 countries and about 10,000 employees. Sony’s position, Director, H.R., China, then reported to Tom.

Two years later Tom recommended Sony for an expatriate position in Michigan, the corporation agreeing with the plan for Sony to return to China, after the completion of the expatriate assignment, and replace Tom as VP of the Asia Pacific Region. While an expatriate the corporation paid for Sony’s Masters in Business Administration in a USA university. After three years, Tom retired and the corporation repatriated Sony to China to a dead end H.R. support position, despite the investment in Sony’s expatriate assignment, fully paying for her master’s degree, a successful USA assignment, and 10 years of experience with USA based global corporations. Why did this happen? Politics at work.

Sony left the corporation one year later and landed a job as HR VP  for the Asia Pacific Region for a very large, global USA based corporation. The same position she was by-passed for in the previous corporation. She was very successful, eventually retired, and yet does career coaching.

A great story of success despite the odds !!!

***** S&E *****

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