leap.jpgDaniel Shih, former president of Motorola's China operations, is being groomed to take over as president of Pepsi China, according to China Business News.

The
leap across from the hi-tech sector to a soft drinks company might
raise eyebrows in the west, but Pepsi recognises that sometimes deep
knowledge of the China market counts for more than sector-specific
experience — a theme that underpins EngagingChina.

Besides,
China's mobile phone market now has many of the characteristics of a
consumer market, with its emphasis on brands, fashion, advertising
campaigns and so on.

Motorola was probably the first US company
to successfully tap into China's new economy and, like Pepsi before it,
the electronics giant became a text-book case study on how western
companies should engage with China. It entered China in 1987 and
enjoyed ten years of success selling its pagers — once a trendy status
symbol in China.

Motorola then built an early lead in mobile
phones and China grew to be Motorola's biggest market. However, the US
firm started to stumble a few years back when Motorola China lost its
high-profile boss, Timothy Chen, to Microsoft. Motorola now faces tough
competition in China's mobile phone business, not least from Nokia and
local upstarts.

Taiwanese by birth, Shih became a US citizen in
1984 and was president of Motorola China from 2003 to 2005, managing
over 10,000 people. Prior to joining Motorola, he served as vice
president for public sector consulting in IBM's Greater China business.
He has also worked for a number of multinational companies including GE
and Ernst &Young.

Last year, Shih was succeeded as president
of Motorola China by Ruey Bin Kao, who previously managed Motorola's
networks business.

Pepsi China's current president and chairman Zhu Huaxu will resign in 2008 and Shih will assume his responsibilities next year.

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