PwC Global CEO Survey Dialogue

17 April 2012

Malek Ali, Managing Director, BFM Media Sdn Bhd

Overview of key findings
Sridharan Nair, Partner, PwC Malaysia

Dialogue with:

  • Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group CEO, Axiata Group Berhad
  • Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO, ICLIF & author of ‘Too many bosses, too few leaders’
  • Sarah Casanova, Managing Director, Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd

Attendance at this event was exclusively by invitation only.



The CEO dialogue, themed “Making talent strategic” discussed the key findings from PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, with a special focus on the issue of talent management. 49 corporate leaders, comprising CEOs and HR directors, attended the event. Gen Y representatives from several youth leadership bodies were among the audience.

The panellists and the audience engaged in a robust exchange of insights, anecdotes and personal observations, addressing critical talent issues such as Gen Y engagement and challenging the notion of the glass ceiling.  

Malek Ali took a refreshing approach to moderating. He asked several CEOs and HR directors from the audience, to share their viewpoints, comments and best practices in relation to the discussion points. He also challenged the panellists to ponder on several burning questions on talent posed by Lucy Kellaway from the Financial Times, and two prominent Malaysian corporate leaders, played live via three audio clips.

Coming from different professional backgrounds, the three panellists had divergent views on how their companies are navigating the talent war and how talent trends are panning out in Malaysia.

Rajeev Peshawaria felt that the Gen Y today 'have to earn their stripes', something his superiors advised him to do, during his formative years in the workforce. Sarah Casanova summed up well saying 'talent management is a cross functional effort. Everyone should own it.'

Attendees were encouraged to tweet their questions for the panel using the hashtag #PwCMTS. PwC Malaysia's social media team provided followers of @PwC_Malaysia on twitter with live highlights from the panel discussion.


Memorable quotes from our panellists

Rajeev Peshawaria:

  • "I think it's time to give everyone a similar chance, create projects, or provide an open invitation if you will, where everyone can showcase their individual abilities and innovations. And let the cream rise to the top. At any point, you'll know who are the talents bringing value to the company."
  • "Gen Ys today are more transient than before, not because they are different. But because that's the way the world is. Hold on to your people by creating the right environment, give them the right opportunities, don't treat them like inferior citizens. Let's eliminate those biases we have about them."

Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim:

  • "Developing the right and the left brain is essential to be a good leader. You need the creativity, you need the science, the arts. And that's what we're lacking (in Malaysia). You have to go back to the schools, give them a good start at a young age."
  • "It’s not about gender. It’s about diversity in the roles. Try out more women in leadership roles, let them prove their mettle, recognise what each individual can bring to the table."

Sarah Casanova:

  • "Hire a smile, hire a personality and you can teach them anything."
  • "So what's holding people back from development? Malaysian managers are not willing to have difficult, tough discussions with their employees about their performance and what they need to do to improve. And that stunts their growth. Because nobody is willing to say hey, here are a couple of things you need to work on."


About PwC's Annual Global CEO Survey

This is an annual undertaking by PwC to survey the CEO community and understand their top-of-mind business agendas. The 15th installment of the survey, “Delivering results: Growth and value in a volatile world” explores CEO confidence in their company’s growth prospects, and their continued focus on investing in emerging economies, innovating and developing talent. The survey was conducted in 60 countries globally, with a total of 1,258 CEOs surveyed.


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