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Senior Executive Opinions: Are You Optimistic for 2010?


“Are You Optimistic for 2010?”

We asked our BlueSteps senior executive members to share their opinions on the economic outlook for 2010 and included their responses in our article titled 'Forget the Media Hype: Senior Executive Opinions on the 2010 Economic Outlook'. Please see below for a selection of the full responses, and if you would like to join the debate, please visit our Executive Search Network LinkedIn group.

Andy Harris, CEO
"Yes optimistic. It's the only way to approach each year, each month, each day. No matter the economy, there are always opportunities to grow and get better at what we do. In general, the overall business climate has stabilized and there are signs of improvement across many sectors for 2010. Still, visibility remains low, and there are many concerns about the effects of unemployment. With or without economic recovery, our company has identified many opportunities to expand and grow our sales and profitability, and develop our people and business relationships. We are very optimistic for the longer term."

Darrell W. Gunter, EVP / Chief Marketing Officer
“Yes I am. As I look at the performance of UPS and FedEX, their shipments are up which means that goods are moving. We also see that many companies will need to replenish their inventories and this will help our factory orders. 2010 will be an improvement but it will not be the traditional hockey stick growth.”

Dietmar von Polenz. Owner at interim4automotive
“Truly, many indicators show the right positive direction. But there are considerable risks, which can stop or turn down the indicated and desired recovery:

•    Debt crisis in the Arabian Gulf states (might sell assets in stock market to gain liquidity)
•    High debts of state budgets and consumers everywhere
•    Positive artificial effects of government spending programs as "cash for clunkers" stopped or cannot be prolonged (for debt reasons and for free allocation of economic factors in market economies)
•    Many corporations held their workforce on reduced weekly hour base, which cannot be maintained much longer if order entry does not raise again; then there will be layoffs and insolvencies, which will have negative impact on consumer climate and credit installments
•    Rising oil and commodity prices before economy will really get momentum

No reason for hype, but all can be happy if 2010 will show a smooth and sustainable recovery.”

Andy Horn, Sales Focused Senior Executive
“If the energy from the market is anything to go by, then it is going to be an excellent year. There will of course be challenges, but the market conditions of the last year require Leadership rather than Management to gain the best return. This is the time for Leaders.”

Todd Nelson, Chief Marketing and Communications Executive

“I am optimistic that 2010 will show improvement over the past two years, but I also believe hiring in 2010 will be limited to key positions with direct impact on organizations' operations and bottom lines. Furloughs will continue, as will delayed raises and reduced bonuses. The majority of unemployed and underemployed workers will be hard pressed to see marked betterment.”

Peter Altschuler, Senior Marketing and Creative Strategist

“The markets are never an indicator of economic health, and that's been patently obvious over the past two years. Stocks may have gained, but unemployment has risen, debt has soared, and trade has declined. Unless jobs are created, the cash available for non-essential goods will remain stagnant or become even scarcer, and that will fuel further reductions in employment as margins deteriorate in sectors such as food, healthcare, and other basic industries. Right now, the only money being made is speculative; oil is the prime example. Despite lower consumption and higher reserves than a year ago, the price of oil has risen and gasoline at the pump is 30 - 50% higher than at this time last year. In the tradition of "lies, damn lies, and statistics," the numbers look good but the reality is far more sobering.”

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This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.

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