Rod Vawdrey is the only non-Japanese Fujitsu exec


blog We knew Japanese technology giant Fujitsu was dominated by … well, the Japanese, but we didn’t quite know how dominated. Well, now we do. CapioIT and IBRS analyst Phil Hassey points out that Vawdrey is literally the only non-Japanese senior corporate executive to hold one of the top offices at the company. And, according to Hassey, that’s not good:

“20 years ago every executive at IBM or Accenture (and Capgemini to a lesser extent) was the same demographic. They changed their culture and executive diversity to reflect their status as culturally diverse global IT providers. If Fujitsu has even the slightest aspiration to be a truly global firm it needs to change the management to reflect the world from where it gains customers. It needs leadership from Europeans, Chinese, Indians, North Americans etc as well as the single non-Japanese executive.”

It is indeed true that one of Vawdrey’s strengths as the leader of Fujitsu Australia has been his ability to persuade his master in the Land of the Rising Sun to spend money on local acquisitions (KAZ, for example). Vawdrey has just had that diplomatic midas touch which has opened doors for his company.

However we think the jury is still out on this one. Sure, Fujitsu might have its problems, but it has proven itself quite a bit more nimble recently than larger competitors like HP and IBM — witness the company’s strong local developmental push into cloud computing, for example, literally a year before some of its rivals are attempting to do the same. The Japanese way might be rigidly hierarchical — but often it just gets the job done. It will be interesting to see what the next five years holds for the company.

Image credit: Fujitsu