Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

from Chrystia Freeland:

Barton and Kleinfeld’s tips for Uncle Sam

During the depths of the financial crisis, Alcoa announced that it would lay off 13% of its global workforce, or about 13,500 people. Since then, they have built up their presence in China and Russia, finalized a new mine in Brazil, and started construction of the world's largest aluminum facilities in Saudi Arabia. Alcoa's rate of job creation in its home country of the United States, however, has been rather tepid in comparison.

Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld acknowledged that prospects for his business today were better abroad than they were at home, but he did note that in the past year Alcoa hired 1,500 people in the U.S. in the automotive and aerospace industries and so long as the United States retained its sense of entrepreneurship, creativity and excellence in higher education, jobs will come.

Dominic Barton was similarly sober about the current state of the U.S. labor market, saying that it's currently undergoing an acute phase of creative destruction. However, he urged the audience to focus on long-term job growth, citing the example of Samsung in the wake of Korea's financial crisis in 1997:

Samsung.  In 1997 there was massive layoffs that were going on. So if you looked at them with the lens of what happened in that crisis, yep, they laid off a lot of people. The number of jobs they've created since because of the investments that they've made is many, many multiples of what they've lost. But they're different people. I think that what we need is this. There is restructuring, and there always will be restructuring. We can never get away from that.  But what's -- what are the conditions that are in place in the country to enable jobs to be created? And that's something where I think business can help play a role. Not to subsidize jobs when they shouldn't exist, but to help create the conditions to do it.

from MediaFile:

GlobalMedia-Baseball exec frustrated, but shies off lecturing Jobs

iphone1One of Major League Baseball's top executives may not think Apple's iTunes app store is particularly user friendly, but he's not about to offer advice to the hottest technology executive on the planet.
    
Robert Bowman, the head of MLB Advanced Media, the league's Internet and digital business, loves apps. He wants his sport's games and other content to be on every wireless device out there and think apps will begin to shape how websites are designed. 
    
"We actually think it's going to invade the website. We think people like apps," he said at the Reuters Global Media Summit. "They're easy to understand. They're compartmentalized. It's a quick way to get information."
    
That said, the Apple and Google app stores leave a lot to be desired, Bowman said.
    
"The app stores are not well laid out. The app stores are very hard to figure out. Even Apple ... they do a great job, but they're hard to understand. The Android app store is very hard to understand, so it's hard for people to find the content."
 
But, when asked what he would do to improve Apple's app store, Bowman demurred.
    
"I don't think I'm going to get very far giving Steve Jobs advice," he said of Apple's renowned CEO. "He's done pretty damn well not listening to me for the first 57 years of his life and so I'm just going to continue to let him not listen to me."
    
Bowman acknowledged that the Android app store leaves him "a little bit more frustrated."
    
However, the baseball executive is not alone is finding the app stores frustrating.
    
Despite charging $14.99 a pop, baseball has sold nearly 600,000 apps this year between the Apple and Android platforms, he said.
    
Bowman also dismissed questions about the future of set-top boxes or big TVs, saying both are not going anywhere.
    
"I don't think there's any history of media dying," he said. "I still listen to radio in my car.
 
"The big TVs aren't going to go anywhere. It's like the automobile," Bowman added. "We're a country that likes big TVs. 

(Reuters photo)

Investors do not realise Valeo’s Asian potential-CEO

Photo

Valeo generates 18 percent of its sales in Asia, and 7 percent in China alone, and that percentage will increase due to fast organic growth in these booming markets, but investors still see Valeo as a company anchored in mature European markets.

“They still see us as mainly a west European company,” chief executive Jacques Aschenbroich told the Reuters Auto Summit in Paris. But despite a decline in turnover, Valeo is keeping up its research and development spending and is continuing to forge forward countries in China, Thailand, India, Turkey or Brazil.

  •