2009年7月27日 星期一

Ten marketing quotes you should know


Ten marketing quotes you should know

July 25, 2009

What better strategy can there be than to learn from some of the world’s best marketing minds? When you leverage ideas from a recognized authority that gives you insight you didn’t have, you are tapping into some real think power that can change your perspective. It’s also a great way to test your best thinking against the best thinkers. Here are some of my favorites.

Quote #1:
“No great marketing decisions have ever been made on quantitative data” - John Scully

Quote #2:
“Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night” - David Ogilvy

Quote #3:
“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business” - Warren Buffett

Quote #4:
“A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one” - Henry Ford

Quote #5:
"If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner." - Zig Ziglar

Quote #6:
"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker

Quote #7:
"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson

Quote #8:
"Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!" - P.T. Barnum

Quote #9:
“Marketing takes days to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master” - Philip Kotle

Quote #10:
“Leadership is not the end of a positioning program. It’s only the start. Leaders are in the best position to exploit opportunities as they arise.” - Jack Trout

2009年7月24日 星期五

Toyota considers halting operations at California's last car plant


Toyota considers halting operations at California's last car plant

NUMMI, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., General Motors, GM, Toyota Motor
Paul Sakuma / Associated Press
“The odds are against Toyota keeping the plant open,” says George Peterson, president of Tustin consulting firm AutoPacific, of NUMMI, the factory that was a joint venture of Toyota and GM.
The Japanese automaker plans to begin talks with GM that could end their 25-year-old joint venture, NUMMI, in Fremont.
By Martin Zimmerman and Ken Bensinger
July 24, 2009
Toyota Motor Corp. appears to be moving closer to shuttering California's last auto plant.

The Japanese automaker plans to start talks next week that could dissolve New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI, which opened in Fremont in 1984 as a 50-50 joint venture of Toyota and then-General Motors Corp.

The plan appeared to take the Bay Area factory closer to an eventual shutdown, though Toyota said Thursday that "a number of difficult and complex issues" needed to be addressed before a final decision was made. As a result, "this process will take more time," Toyota said.

"When we talk about liquidating NUMMI, that's not saying we're closing the plant," said Mike Michels, a spokesman with Toyota Motor Sales USA in Torrance. "That's talking about liquidating the legal entity."

GM said last month that it would abandon the partnership as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

It's possible that Toyota or another bidder could make an offer for GM's stake in the plant, now owned by Motors Liquidation Co. -- the entity charged with selling the assets shed by GM in its recent bankruptcy.

"It's possible that NUMMI has negligible or even negative market value," said Van Conway, a partner at restructuring firm Conway, MacKenzie & Dunleavy.

Regardless, Toyota may not be interested in making a bid for the plant, which produces Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, Toyota Corolla sedans and Toyota Tacoma pickups. GM said in June that production of the Vibe would cease in August.

"There is a likelihood we would not buy the rest of it," Yoshimi Inaba, recently appointed chief executive of Toyota Motor North America, told the Detroit Free Press.

The plant's management issued a statement holding out hope the facility would survive.

"Toyota has taken a direction but has not made a final decision regarding NUMMI," the statement said.

Few auto industry experts would be surprised if Toyota pulled the plug. California is a high-cost manufacturing state. In addition, Toyota has plenty of unused production capacity in North America -- including factories in Mexico and Canada that make the Tacoma and the Corolla, said George Peterson, president of Tustin consulting firm AutoPacific.

He noted that Fremont is the only Toyota plant where workers are represented by the United Auto Workers union, which has a contract that's set to expire next month.

"The odds are against Toyota keeping the plant open," Peterson said.

The president of the UAW local that represents about three-quarters of the Fremont facility's workers didn't return calls seeking comment. Motors Liquidation Co. declined to comment.

The plant's closure could dent California's economy beyond the plant's 4,700 employees and their $500 million in annual pay and benefits. The East Bay Economic Development Alliance estimates that about 30,000 jobs that depend on the plant indirectly could be lost in the event of a closure.

Roughly 1,000 companies with operations in California supply parts and services to the factory, with the highest concentration of suppliers in Alameda, Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties, according to NUMMI.

Ontario-based Walker Corp., which specializes in stamped metal parts, counts Toyota, and specifically its Fremont factory, as its biggest customer by far.

"We're hoping it's not too late," said company President Bruce Walker. "Toyota is a wonderful customer and we'd hate to see that relationship change."

Last week legislators in Sacramento submitted two bills to provide tax breaks and other incentives to keep the plant open. Neither has been voted on yet.

State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), co-author of the Senate bill, said it has been a struggle to get lawmakers to focus on an auto factory at a time when the state's budget crisis has everyone's attention. But he's optimistic that he can find the votes for a bill that could persuade Toyota to keep the plant open.

"We want to assure the people at Toyota that maintaining their presence in California is something the Legislature cares about," Wright said.

The California congressional delegation sent a letter to Toyota's headquarters in Japan on Thursday expressing its concern for the plant's future. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in discussions with Toyota executives and state and federal officials in an effort to keep the plant open, his office said.

Toyota's sales in the U.S. are down almost 38% this year as the auto industry suffers its worst slump in decades. As a result, the automaker has excess production capacity at its North American auto plants, which can produce more than 400,000 vehicles a year.

In the first six months of this year, the assembly line making the Vibe and the Corolla rolled out only 76,000 vehicles, a 25% decline from a year earlier, while the line making the Tacoma saw an 83% drop in production, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The plant was unprofitable last year, Michels said.

martin.zimmerman @latimes.com

2009年7月15日 星期三

底特律可以向硅谷學些什麼?Andrew S. Grove









結果是﹐隨著Burroughs和Digital Equipment等舊參與者逐漸消失﹐以及康柏(Compaq)和戴爾(Dell)等新型企業的出現﹐電腦業變得更具活力。



如果汽車業只需要應付衰退而已﹐那麼政府投資通用汽車(General Motors)或許會帶來直接幫助。但事實情況並非如此。汽車業面臨著一系列因素的聯合作用:全球性的衰退、油價上漲、環保需求、製造業全球化﹐最重要的的是涉及到汽車業本質的技術變革。







(編者按:本文作者安迪•格魯夫(Andrew S. Grove)曾任英特爾(Intel Corp.)首席執行長。)

2009年7月13日 星期一


當勞公司(McDonald's Co., MCD)將追隨眾多企業的腳步﹐今年秋天把歐洲總部由倫敦遷往日內瓦。

儘管英國相對於瑞士較高的企業所得稅稅率是眾多企業遷址的原因所在﹐但麥當勞發言人Ed Petter週日告訴道瓊斯通訊社(Dow Jones Newswires)﹐麥當勞將歐洲總部遷址主要是出於簡化知識產權管理的考慮﹐所得稅問題對作出這一決定的影響為中性。


-By Martina Cruz Riquet, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 20 7842 9490;

Research note by British ‘teenage scribbler' causes City sensation

Research note by British ‘teenage scribbler' causes City sensation

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York 2009-07-13

A research note written by a 15-year-old, who was not born when former UK chancellor Nigel Lawson dismissed City analysts as “teenage scribblers”, has become the talk of middle-aged media executives and investors.

Morgan Stanley's European media analysts asked Matthew Robson, one of the bank's interns from a London school, to describe his friends' media habits. His report proved to be “one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen. So we published it,” said Edward Hill-Wood, head of the team.

The response was enormous. “We've had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day,” said Mr Hill-Wood, 35, estimating that the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team's usual reports. However, he made no claims for its statistical rigour.

As elderly media moguls gathered at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, to fawn over Twitter and fret over their business models, Mr Robson set out a sobering case that tomorrow's consumers are using more and more media but are unwilling to pay for it.

“Teenagers do not use Twitter,” he pronounced. Updating the micro-blogging service from mobile phones costs valuable credit, he wrote, and “they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless”.

His peers find it hard to make time for regular television, and would rather listen to advert-free music on websites such as Last.fm than tune into traditional radio. Even online, teens find advertising “extremely annoying and pointless”.

Their time and money is spent instead on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, he said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone.

Mr Robson had little comfort for struggling print publishers, saying no teenager he knew regularly reads a newspaper since most “cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text” rather than see summaries online or on television.

当年长的媒体大亨在爱达荷州太阳谷(Sun Valley)Allen & Co会议上对Twitter大加赞扬,并对自己的商业模式感到烦恼之际,罗布森提出了一个令人警醒的观点:未来的消费者正在更多地使用媒体,但不愿为此付费。






2009年7月10日 星期五


台積電(TSMC)2009年7月6日在橫濱召開新聞發佈會,公佈了2009年的研發方針等。Jack Sun(研發副總裁)發表了演講。

  Jack Sun表示,過去台積電的研發主要針對尖端CMOS技術。今後,將建立包含3個支柱的研發體制,除尖端CMOS技術外,還將包括“特殊/衍生”技術及封裝 技術。另外,特殊/衍生技術是指尖端CMOS以外的各種技術,包括RF、模擬、雙極/功率、CMOS圖像感測器及MEMS等。


  此外,Jack Sun還宣佈,該公司已啟動研發用22nm生產線及TSV(Through Silicon Via)研發用300mm生產線、在比利時的魯汶設立了研發基地、將參與法國半導體研究機構CEA- LETI的“多電子束曝光研究計劃”等。

  另外,Jack Sun還介紹了28nm製程的進展情況。如利用28nm低功耗工藝試製的64Mbit SRAM已經成功動作。28nm試製品將於2010年開始生產,2011年開始量產。首先將從小批量開始。(記者:小島 郁太郎)


2009年7月8日 星期三


攝影/莊素玉 黃明堂 


2009年7月7日 星期二


文化社会 | 2009.07.07


危机时期,最能显示一个政府的行动能力。政府机构和部门之间必须尽量达成默契合作。在柏林联邦安全政策学院,人们可以学习和尝试如何做到这一点。来自国家 机构和企业高层的约30名代表就参加了这样一个模拟演练:他们扮演内政或外交部长、警察局长或外交官,设法显示自己作为管理者所具备的危机处理能力。

一开始一切并不显得那么惊心动魄:在一个名叫佩塔尼亚的假想国度里发生了骚乱,德国技术合作公司的两名工作人员受了重伤。在模拟演练中,扮 演记者的学员们问道,那儿到底发生了什么事?但政府部门拒绝提供信息,他们担心这会让国家的媒体形象受损。"我们原本以为,有关政府部门会对此作出答复, 但我们的采访要求全都被拒绝了。但我们不会放弃,要继续尝试,我们要向您提供最新消息,请等待我们的最新报道

玛丽娅·海德的任务不轻松,她扮演的发展援助部长,在一开始就是媒体关注的焦点。同时她又要通过合作项目向危机地区佩塔尼亚提供支持。终于,矛盾爆 发了。在发生新的暴力冲突后,发展援助工作被迫暂时中断。一旦发生危机,意外事件往往接连不断,这一点,海德可不是通过演练才得知,在现实生活中,她是联 邦财政部的新闻发言人。2003年,当德国东部奥德河遭受洪水灾害时,海德受到大批记者的包围,被追问灾民们是否以及如何才能获得国家赔偿。她的经验是, 这样的演练能够贴近现实地让学员为面对紧张压力的情况作好准备。海德表示:"对于在联邦政府、州政府和安全部门工作的人来说,这是个绝好的机会,学习掌握 学院安排演练的重点任务,也就是练习如何建立互助网络,相互协调,以及在危机情况下如何与其他人合作。这些课题都必须在短短的两个小时里完成,与此同时还 要克服现实中可能遇到的阻碍,比如应付不同部门不同的行政管理方式,以及信息流通不畅等等。"

勃兰登堡州警察总署的监查员雅各布也对演练十分满意。他认为,与演练本身同样重要的是参加者之间的相互交流。雅各布说:"参加这个学习班的人来自不 同的部门和领域。有德意志银行的,欧洲中央银行的,还有发展援助部门的等等。让我感到意外的是,他们在危机情况中都显示出很高的专业水准,我们互相学到了 很多东西。"

模拟演练在安全政策学院的讲师、专家和媒体专业人士指导下进行。参加者面对的压力在进一步升级。危机地区出现了难民潮,极端分子威胁要实施恐怖袭 击。法官沃尔夫在演练中扮演一名内政部门的专家,他要检验学员们是否采取了正确的措施。 "比如说,在接到一个恐怖威胁电话后,各个政府部门之间怎样合作。这时,我们必须要解决部门之间可能产生,也确实产生的一些矛盾。"

这次持续3天的模拟演练是一次为期6个月的学习班的精彩压轴戏。学员们在学习班期间访问了不同的危机地区。他们在格鲁吉亚和中东获得了第一手信息, 对德国国内一些机构的访问同样让他们收获不小。安全政策学院的课程负责人施同普夫指出,在学习班期间了解了国内和国际机构如何进行合作后,就能提高各个部 门在危机情况下的行动能力。他介绍说:"这几天里,学员们总共写了2500封电子邮件,这很形象地显示出模拟过程中的信息密度。我的中心目标是,把每个人 已经具备的专业素质作一次提升,让他能够跨部门地思考。就是说,搞财政金融的人要考虑的不仅是金融问题,军人要考虑的不仅仅是军事问题。在经过学习班之 后,每个学员都应该能够跨部门地思考和行动,能够在广泛的体系中理解安全政策并进行运用。"

不过在演练中,等待参加者的并不是一个皆大欢喜的结局。尽管人们尽了一切努力,佩塔尼亚动荡的局势还是无法安定下来。在这一点上,这次演练可以说是 现实的写照。这个世界上的任何危机都不是单靠军事手段就能解决的。但通过正确的危机处理和网络化的安全应对方案,危机是可以得到缓解的。至于如何实现和平 这个问题,包括政治家和参加模拟演练的学员在内,没人能提供现成的答案。

作者:Ute Hempelmann/叶宣


Health Co-op Offers Model for Overhaul

Health Co-op Offers Model for Overhaul

Stuart Isett for The New York Times

Dr. Harry J. Shriver III meeting recently with one of Group Health’s patients, Eleanor L. Riley.

Published: July 6, 2009

SEATTLE — As Dr. Harry J. Shriver III examined 70-year-old Eleanor L. Riley one recent morning, he seemed in no hurry. He asked about her phlebitis and her gall bladder, and whether her gout was acting up. They discussed her blood pressure readings and whether she was getting any exercise.

“I surprise my patients by asking, ‘Is there anything else you want to talk about today?’ ” said Dr. Shriver, chief of a clinic near Seattle run by Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. “They’ve never heard a doctor say that.”

Dr. Shriver has the time because Group Health, one of the country’s few surviving health insurance cooperatives, has recently embraced electronic medical records and a collaborative model of primary care, allowing him to practice proactive medicine for the first time in years.

On Capitol Hill, those innovations have made Group Health a prototype for a political compromise that could unclog health care negotiations in the Senate and lead to a bipartisan deal. After a month of brainstorming, including briefings from Group Health executives, the Senate Finance Committee seems poised to propose private-sector insurance cooperatives — instead of a new government health plan — as its primary mechanism for stoking competition and slowing the growth of medical costs.

But state officials say Group Health’s impact on holding down costs has been mixed. And its successes may have less to do with its governance — by a board that is elected by patients — than with its ownership of a vast network of clinics and specialty care centers.

Above all, Group Health’s physicians are paid a salary and can earn bonuses of up to 20 percent for high-quality performance. Unlike most doctors, who are paid by the visit or procedure, they have little incentive to churn patients through and order unnecessary tests and operations.

At Group Health, doctors are rewarded for consulting by telephone and secure e-mail, which allows for longer appointments. Patients are assigned a team of primary care practitioners who are responsible for their well-being. Medical practices, and insurance coverage decisions, are driven by the company’s own research into which drugs and procedures are most effective.

As Congress and the White House debate a national health care overhaul, many in Washington agree that one reason health premiums have grown at four times the rate of inflation this decade is a dearth of competition. In 40 of 42 states studied by the American Medical Association last year, the two largest health insurers claimed at least half of all enrollment.

The question is how best to invigorate the system. Republicans and some moderate Democrats are concerned that competition from a government-run insurance plan would eventually drive private companies out of business and leave government as the sole insurer.

If the bill now being finalized by the Finance Committee includes cooperatives, it could set up a confrontation with the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has written legislation to create a government plan along the lines of Medicare.

House Democrats also prefer a public plan, as does President Obama. But Mr. Obama has signaled that he might settle for cooperatives if it would gain Republican support for the broader legislation.

There is much about the Group Health model that Congress and the White House would like to replicate. Whether that requires a cooperative structure is open to debate.

A number of company officials acknowledged that it is Group Health’s ability to directly manage its doctors that really drives innovation. The cooperative structure’s primary contribution, they said, is to create a consumerist ethos that keeps the company focused on patient care.

“There’s a kind of accountability to the patients in our system,” said Scott Armstrong, president of Group Health. “And when you bring the principles of a cooperative to bear, patients feel responsibility for holding the system together and for their own health.”

But Carolyn A. Watts, a health economist at the University of Washington, said the cooperative structure made little difference. “In the end, it’s not about who owns the place,” she said. “It’s about the incentives.”

Technically, Group Health Cooperative was misnamed when it was founded by trade unionists and Grange members in 1947. Structured as a not-for-profit corporation, its revenues ($2.6 billion last year) are reinvested rather than distributed among members. But it is governed like a cooperative — and calls itself one — because its board consists of and is elected by members.

With 550,000 enrollees in Washington, Group Health is the smallest of three major insurers in the state, with a 9 percent market share. It often does raise premiums by less than its competitors, but that does not mean the increases have been insignificant. Annual increases for individual policies have averaged 12.3 percent since 2000, peaking at 24.2 percent in 2003.

Mike Kreidler, formerly a Group Health optometrist and now Washington’s insurance commissioner, said governance by consumers had sometimes translated into generous benefits. “They haven’t had the dramatic impact on cost in this market that you might have anticipated,” he said.

Group Health is a rare survivor among the hundreds of rural health insurance cooperatives that formed in the 1930s and 1940s in the face of fierce resistance from organized medicine. But there is a feeling in Seattle that it has endured only by becoming more like its competitors.

In the 1980s, it ended the practice of charging all enrollees the same premiums, regardless of their health status, and it has since introduced deductibles, co-payments and out-of-network benefits. Only seven-tenths of 1 percent of enrollees voted in the last board election.

Senator Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat who first proposed cooperatives as a compromise last month, said the Finance Committee was debating how a national network might be structured and how much seed money would be needed for state and regional branches. Mr. Conrad has said it would take up to $4 billion, while others have projected $10 billion.

Mr. Conrad estimates that cooperatives would need at least half a million members, about the size of Group Health in its 62nd year, to wield meaningful leverage. That scale will be possible, he said, if the Democrats succeed in bringing tens of millions of the uninsured into the market by mandating coverage and subsidizing premiums.

But supporters of a public plan argue that it will be a challenge to form pools that large any time soon. They predict that cooperatives will become dumping grounds for the sickest patients, and that they will have difficulty forming networks of physicians.

“The idea that these things will spontaneously erupt all over the country is just completely a dream,” said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University.

2009年7月1日 星期三

To Ensure Workers Rise to New Challenges

Motivating Employees When You're the Underdog

Microsoft Online Executive in Asia Ensures Workers Rise to New Challenges

(Please see corrections and amplifications item below.)

Sanjay Chheda, head of Microsoft Corp.'s consumer and online business in Asia, faces one of the more difficult challenges in his industry. In a world where Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. command more than 80% of Internet searches, Mr. Chheda must find a way to popularize Microsoft's Web services or be left with a shrinking piece of the online-advertising pie. In Asia, he also faces stiff competition from search engines such as China's Baidu.com Inc. and NHN Corp.'s Naver.com of South Korea, which dominate their local markets.

Mr. Chheda's first stint with Microsoft was in the summer of 1991 as an intern working on Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0, the company's word-processing software. Microsoft Word was then the underdog to the popular WordPerfect, now owned by Corel Corp. Mr. Chheda watched how Microsoft rallied as a team to defeat Goliath, and he kept this sense of mission with him as he rose through the ranks.

Since joining Microsoft 17 years ago, Mr. Chheda has held a variety of jobs across marketing, product planning and program management, most notably as Microsoft's chief deal-maker, responsible for acquisitions, strategic investments and new ventures, and later headed Microsoft's sales of special-purpose embedded devices for cell phones and other electronic equipment to partner companies. He now manages Microsoft's consumer software and online units across Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, India, China and Australia.

He played a key role in the recent launch of Bing, a new search engine Microsoft hopes will win over fans with language refinements targeted at users in Asia. Mr. Chheda will oversee Bing's regional rollout in the coming months, focusing on Japan, China and Australia. His teams also will work closely with units in China, Japan and India to gear the search engine to the needs of users there.

Mr. Chheda, a 42-year-old American, was born to Indian immigrant parents near the northern New York State city of Buffalo, and went on to earn economics and computer-science degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. After a stint in a junior analyst program at Salomon Brothers, the now defunct investment bank, in New York City, he enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford University. When Mr. Chheda joined Microsoft in 1992, he was one of just 11,000 workers. The company now employs more than 95,000 people.

Wayne Ma spoke with Mr. Chheda in Singapore. The interview has been edited.

WSJ: In this challenging economic environment, have you had to cut costs?

Mr. Chheda: We've had to get our costs in line with revenue; the best way to do that is to share information and explain to people why we're doing it, rather than saying, "Here's your cost cut, live with it." If you help them understand the objective and treat them as equals and partners in the business-planning exercise, you get the support of the team and also harness their creativity.

WSJ: What did you learn from your experience in investment banking [at Salomon Brothers] and is Microsoft still looking for merger and acquisition opportunities in Asia?

Mr. Chheda: At Microsoft I worked on several acquisitions and deals, including the IPO of the travel Web site Expedia.com. From my investment banking years, I knew how to integrate new businesses to create value, and I knew how to work with bankers on transactions.

Microsoft is certainly looking at strategic opportunities in Asia, but it might not always take the form of an acquisition. Because the environment has gotten tougher, everyone has been looking for opportunities to partner and grow market share without increasing costs. Valuations are also more reasonable, and that makes some deals more attractive. There are probably more opportunities to do deals and partnerships than ever before.

WSJ: What do you look for when considering job candidates?

Mr. Chheda: I've held many jobs at Microsoft, and they often involved the company taking a bet on me to do something I perhaps didn't have the full suite of experience to do. It might be a smart bet for a company to give someone with enough of a track record the chance to step into a role they might be somewhat unqualified for. Some of the best decisions I've made were taking bets on people; it's been satisfying to watch them thrive against a new set of challenges.

WSJ: Do you think an MBA is important?

Mr. Chheda: You can't get nuts-and-bolts skills at educational institutions. That said, getting an MBA is a great way to prepare or enhance a career in business, and I'd strongly encourage it to anyone who is considering. However, I'd tell them to first go out and get substantial work experience. You can learn so much more in your academic program if you come into it with more context.

WSJ: How do you motivate employees when you're the underdog in the online-search market?

Mr. Chheda: People need to believe we have a plan to get back to leadership, and it's also important that they understand our commitment and strategy. We face some stiff competition today and better competitors than ever. But Microsoft has a long history of succeeding against competition. I love to tell the story of Word for Windows 2.0, because most people don't realize that Microsoft wasn't always the winner there. At the time, we knew our product was going to be better than WordPerfect's product, and we were going to tell that story to the world. We're a company that's good at rallying and responding to the competition.

WSJ: What have been some of your biggest challenges?

Mr. Chheda: There were some countries where our financial performance wasn't fully what we wanted, and I had to go in and take a look at our sales structure. In one example, we were trying to launch too many aQuantive [Microsoft online advertising] products at the same time. I learned that if you have a small team trying to sell too many products at once, you're not going to succeed. Focus on doing a couple of things well and gaining acceptance for them before reaching that critical mass to add new ones.

WSJ: How do you communicate with your employees across Asia?

Mr. Chheda: Some face-to-face contact is essential, especially when you're ramping up and getting started in a new role. You really need to spend time with people in a somewhat unstructured way to learn who they are, how they work and what their interests are. If you invest in that personal connection in the beginning, it makes it so much easier to connect on issues over the phone or video conferencing. In Singapore, we do video calls with teams in each country every month to review their business performance.

Corrections & Amplifications

Sanjay Chheda, head of Microsoft Corp.'s consumer and online business in Asia, previously ran the company's sales of special-purpose embedded devices for cell phones and other electronic equipment to partner companies. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated he had been head of sales for Windows Mobile software.