• 1979

    Coopers & Lybrand NZ – audit clerk

    Recruited by PwC on campus, I spent a year doing audits, during which time I learnt a lot about how different businesses in different industries operate.
  • 1980

    Asea Brown Boveri

    Whilst on vacation back in Malaysia, I was offered a job with an Australian company in the electrical industry. After a year, I landed a job with Brown Boveri (Switzerland). I guess I gravitated back toward science and engineering. I helped the company set up and build its subsidiary in Malaysia and was appointed CFO of joint operations with the merger forming ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB). But did not like the new boss.
  • 1988

    ABB HK/China

    After a bit of a stir which even involved the Group CEO, I was "hijacked" to move to Hong Kong as CFO for ABB HK/China. Thus started my induction into the "decadent" world of an expatriate. It was the best of both worlds for my wife and me. We were equally comfortable socializing with the expatriate community as well as integrating into the very local life in Hong Kong. This was really a world of contrasts.
  • 1991

    ABB Power Ventures Switzerland

    When ABB started to make significant acquisitions in Eastern Europe, they assembled a team for restructuring who were mostly ex-McKinseys. I was invited to join this team. The irony is that ABB would get a Chinaman from their HK/China operations to help "westernise" their Eastern European acquisitions. I brought my very young family with me to Wroclaw, Poland, but after six months, I realised that it was a bit of a mistake. I then parked them with my sister in Toronto for the remainder of my stint in Poland.
  • 1992

    ABB China Investments Ltd

    After 13 months in Poland, I was asked if I could do the same in St. Petersburg, Russia. At which point my boss in HK objected, as he wanted me back to start ABB's manufacturing joint ventures in China. We started in Xiamen and then moved to Hefei, Shanghai, and Beijing. I was the first Managing Director for ABB China Investments Ltd, which over 20 years built up to US$ 6 billion in revenues.
  • 1994

    Rexam plc - UK

    After two tough years in pioneering joint ventures for ABB in China, and 14 years with ABB, I decided I needed a change, and accepted an offer from an FTSE 100 company to be their Director for Asia. For four years, I worked on acquisitions, joint ventures, and technology transfers for industrial films and packaging businesses. During the four years when I was working for this company, ABB came to me with three offers to return.
  • 1998

    ASEA Brown Boveri Inc. Philippines

    My family moved to Melbourne in early 1998, and I was winding up things in HK, to join them and take a sabbatical from my corporate life. I had been traveling for more than 250 days a year since I took on a regional job, and really could do with a break. In the middle of this, ABB offered me the position of Country Manager for their operations in the Philippines. This was the first time that ABB decided to put an Asian as a Country Manager in another Asian country. I asked my wife to allow me to do this for one year. What a liar I was as it was six years later that I finally resigned.