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STRATEGY

The Defiant Ones

Europe has concluded that it must work harder to recognize and nurture growth businesses, and what that means to you.
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Looking for more about European entrepreneurship? Read Jerry Useem's "Some Thoughts On Europe" and "The New Aristocracy".

For years Europe's toughest company builders succeeded despitea hostile environment. Now, as they gain social and economicinfluence, they're uniting behind a powerful agenda that could changeyour company's future. Here's how

By now Ruth Foreman ought to know what to expect when she getstogether with a group of fellow company builders: a few usefulmanagement tips, loud grumbling about taxes and other governmentintrusions, and fierce competition in the category of who has enduredthe worst employee ever. Yet Foreman becomes nearly breathless at thememory of a day spent just that way. "I found it really worthwhile totalk to people who were equally excited about what they were doing,"she says. "It really motivated me."

Maybe Foreman, who runs a temporary-employment agency with some250 employees and nearly $5 million in revenues , just ought todrag herself out more. After all, the days of the lonesome-cowpokeentrepreneur went the way of the chuck wagon ages ago. Name anyentrepreneurial phenomenon, and there's probably a networking groupthat serves it, from the young chief executive to the female companybuilder, to those who are growing fast or franchising or strugglingto work and live with their families. And it's happening inany industry you can think of, in every region of the country.

This country, that is.

But Foreman's business, Australasian Temps Ltd., happens to bebased in London. And the conference she attended in mid-November wasthe first of its kind: a groundbreaking effort to identify andassemble the heads of Europe's 500 fastest-growing businesses. Butaren't such companies routinely celebrated -- or at leastacknowledged -- for their much-needed contributions to job creation?Hardly. "No one has ever approached us and said, 'Wow, it looks likeyou are growing,' " admits Foreman, who is the company's managingdirector. "There's been absolutely none of that."

Foreman and her newfound networkers aren't likely to be battingaway ticker tape as they stroll down the Champs Elyséesanytime soon. Still, a growing group of advocates -- frompolicymakers to academics to investors -- have begun to conclude thatthe Continent must work harder to recognize and nurture growthbusinesses. The reason? Think back to 1985, when Ronald Reaganushered in what he dubbed "The Age of the Entrepreneur" in theStates. His nascent hospitality arose from old-fashioned economicnecessity: the Fortune 500's shedding of jobs, the need topare down government, the threat of bloody global competition.

Margaret Thatcher, herself a shopkeeper's daughter, may have beenthe first to import the Gipper's playbook during the 1980s -- easingthe tax burden on small companies, among other initiatives -- asEngland endured convulsive job losses in such heavy-industry staplesas shipbuilding and coal mining. Her efforts help explain whyU.K.-based companies earned 59 spots on the list of Europe's 500 fastgrowers, almost as many as economic powerhouse Germany. But now,especially as governments across Europe brave the belt-tighteningnecessary for them to form a fiscally sound union come 1999, "theyare suddenly starting to figure out that their big companies aredoing no better than ours, and they don't have an engine underneathto pick up the slack," says David Birch, president of Cognetics Inc.,an economic-research company based in Cambridge, Mass. Still, Birch,who attended the conference, cautions that the kind of culturalimpediments that stifle entrepreneurship -- aversion to risk, fear ofembarrassment -- don't fade fast. "Attitude and culture can takegenerations to change, if they ever change at all," he warns.

There's no point in telling that to the freshly minted CEOs ofEurope's 500, who gathered in a former monastery in the rainy town ofGhent, Belgium, last fall. Though meeting for the first time, theydisplayed a shared mind-set that transcends international borders: arelentless focus on getting things done. Never mind which country ishome to the most risk-averse bankers (it's an argument thatcould, and did, go on all day), the fact is, this group of fastgrowers was no more likely to dwell on such hindrances than theirU.S. counterparts would. "People see hurdles where there aren't any,"gushes Ole Flensted, CEO of Ole Flensted Holdings, aDenmark-based food processor. "You can start a business if you havethe energy or the money or a good idea."

Indeed, Bert Twaalfhoven, founder of the European Foundation forEntrepreneurship Research (EFER), the Brussels-based group thatignited the effort to compile Europe's 500, points out that evenEastern Europe, where a rather imposing cultural barrier called theBerlin Wall came down only in 1989, has spawned an astounding 12million entrepreneurs. "They came out of the woodwork," saysTwaalfhoven, who founded EFER in 1987. "They knew thestate enterprises did not have the answer." Oddly enough, the veryimprobability of those ventures, he adds, galvanized Western Europeinto realizing how deficient it was in entrepreneurship.

Make no mistake, though -- Europe's awakening has yet to widelytranslate into such basic steps as creating fiscal incentivesfor those willing to invest in risky start-ups, or easing up on laborlaws that crush small businesses' most obvious advantage,flexibility. Collectively, this new community of entrepreneurs drew aportrait of government policies that have not caught up to thegrowing consensus that "you will not decrease unemployment justthrough the large companies," says Olivier Dellenbach, CEO ofNat Systèmes, SA, a computer-networking company in Paris."If the top priority in Europe is reducing unemployment, thenthere are huge benefits in helping small companies."

There are equally huge benefits in creating a forum that enablesEurope's entrepreneurs to unite behind a common agenda. "In theindividual countries there is no support for the small enterprise,"complains Peter Kramer, cofounder of Spinnrad Gmbh, a cosmeticsretailer in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. "That's why it's thrillingto feel that we will finally get that voice." And with that voice,these fast growers are eager not only to talk to government officialsand policy wonks but also to address their role models in the UnitedStates. What they have to say on that front, though, may besurprising.

"We are looking to expand and grow for many years ahead," saysDomingo Arochena, president of Indas, SA, a Spanish maker ofhygiene-related products. "For many of us that has already meantgoing outside our own countries." And many more, he suggests, willaggressively seek new markets.

* * *

It would be natural for American entrepreneurs to see in Europe'sfast growers nothing more than a younger version of themselves:Remember when big companies dominated just about any market theytouched? When it seemed ludicrous to try to persuade a big-companyexecutive to leave the comfort and security of a luxury liner to hopaboard what looked like a wobbly lifeboat?

It's certainly true that "we are 10 years behind the States inentrepreneurship in Europe," as Twaalfhoven says. But it's also truethat Europe's entrepreneurs are coming of age at a time when markets,money, and labor have all become globalized. "Because entrepreneursare more mobile physically, they've had the chance to see how thingsare done in the United States and Canada," notes Klaus Jacklein,president of Mayrose International, an internationalreal-estate-development company based just outside Toronto. "Thismakes them much more aggressive in dealing with traditionalbarriers." Translation: one visit here, and European entrepreneurscan easily pick up the kinds of business-development skills thataren't widely practiced back home, from wooing investors with a goodstory to luring employees with stock options.

Take raising money. While there may be talk of developing aEuropean version of NASDAQ, for now the U.S. exchange is fastbecoming the financing tool of choice for growth companies fromabroad. Pierre-Alain Cotte, a native Frenchman who now lives inAmberg, Germany, recently started Strategic Ventures, a firm whosemission is to make Europe's fast growers comfortable with lettingNASDAQ make them rich. In the past, he says, European entrepreneursweren't attracted by the possibility of an initial public offering,because "when you started a company in Europe, you didn't start it tomake money. You started it for your family and for the centuries tocome."

But more and more European entrepreneurs are now admitting to thekind of competitive zeal crisply expressed by Bernard Liautaud,cofounder of Business Objects, a software company based near Paris."If you win in France, it's just a short-term thing," he says. "Youneed to go and win in the United States." Not surprisingly, BusinessObjects went public over the counter in 1994 (see "My MoneyLies over the Ocean," below), taking a path that many of Europe'sfast-growing companies plan to follow this year, according to JosPeeters, former chairman of the European Venture Capital Association.Among Europe's 500, only 59% claim to have no intention ofgoing public in the next three years. As for where the rest are mostlikely to take their offerings, entrepreneurs usually go where theaction is: NASDAQ brings 2.5 times more companies public in a yearthan the exchanges in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, andStockholm combined.

Building a growth company on the Silicon Valley model may involvemore for Europeans than just tapping U.S. investors. Unable to findenough managers who could handle the kind of growth he wanted for hiscomputer-graphics start-up, French entrepreneur Eric Hautemont fledParis and started operations in the heart of Silicon Valley. (See"Forget Paris," below .)

To be sure, most of Europe's 500 have no plans to move into yourzip code. But your customers aren't as distant as they once seemedfrom European companies. Accustomed as they are to crossing fromcountry to country, these fast growers already look outside theirhome countries for close to 40% of revenues. "If you want to growfast in Belgium," quips Rudy Hageman, managing director of RealSoftware NV, "you have to grow abroad." As for future growth,52% of Europe's 500 are expecting foreign markets to account for atleast as much growth as their domestic customers will. (See "Where DoYou Expect to Realize Future Growth?" in "Europe's 500 at a Glance,"below) "The regulations are very different in different countries,but we are able to stay flexible enough to handle that," says Wallyde Jong, founder and president of a Netherlands-based fluemanufacturer that exports 90% of its products. "I myself learnedEnglish, French, and German to do it. It's easy."

Aggressive CEOs like Arochena see another role that U.S. companiesmight play in the future of fast-growing businesses like his own. The53-year-old, who took over his uncle's consumer-products company in1970, has combated the growing competitive threat from U.S. giantslike Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble Co. by snapping upsmaller competitors around Spain. While he refuses to sell out, hedoesn't rule out setting up a joint venture with an American concern."The future could be a collaboration in which we provide knowledge ofthe market, and they can develop new products," he muses. "They mighthave newer technology or be in new fields that we are not in today."Whatever the exact fit, Arochena's central goal remains firm: to keepthe business, which he owns with his two brothers, in the family."It's important to continue," he says, "because in Spain there arenot so many industrial family companies. And we are losing more ofthem all the time. We must continue to grow." (See "It's AllRelative," below.)
Europe's 500 weren't chosen on the basis of that kind ofattitude, but they might as well have been. "Entrepreneurs have acertain way of speaking and acting. It really surprised people tolook around and see 100 others like themselves," says Heinrich vonLiechtenstein, executive director of EFER. "They have felt up to nowthat they were lonely wolves. They discovered that they are not, andthat it makes sense for wolves to get together and sing their songtogether."

As for the exact tune, they could have been warbling "People," theBarbra Streisand classic. The main criterion used for selectingEurope's 500 was, after all, growth in full-time employees from 1989to 1994. Companies that made the list had to reach their peakworkforce in 1994 and could not have added employees through anythingother than internal growth, ruling out mergers. To qualify, abusiness had to have fewer than 500 employees in 1989 and more than40 in 1994. Further, an entrepreneur had to own a controlling stakein the business and be actively involved in managing it. Besides theday that entrepreneurs spent attending workshops, the conference alsoincluded a day mainly devoted to academic presentations. "Thisconference was only a test start," notes Peter Kramer, the Germanentrepreneur.

If so, the biggest question of the test boiled down to this: Wouldentrepreneurs from the very different countries of Europe actuallyfind a common language? The answer: a resounding affirmative. "Thesepeople have all done what they've done in spite of, "explains von Liechtenstein. "In spite of no intelligent politics onthe national or European level, in spite of no intelligent forms ofrisk capital. But they couldn't care less about the in spiteofs."

More so than the Inc. 500, many of whom have surelyconfronted daunting and discouraging circumstances, the leadingEuropean entrepreneurs have shaped their businesses by sheer force oftheir own defiance. They aren't likely to lose that rebelliousquality anytime soon. "They all wish to change certain things abouttheir governments," observes von Liechtenstein, "but they basicallycouldn't care less about what their governments are doing."

* * *

Just mention the word entrepreneur in France, and some2 million people will take to the streets, refuse to go to work,and plunge the country into economic paralysis for three weeks.

Certainly, entrepreneurs were not overtly the issue in thenationwide strikes of late last year. Most immediately, what sparkedthe discontent was the government's attempt to trim certain medicaland pension benefits , budget cuts that will be required forFrance to enter into Europe's planned common-currency system come1999. But the level of protest provides a barometer for just howpassionately people feel about the many benefits -- such assubsidized health care and generous unemployment payments -- theyexpect to get from the government, and how receptive they are tofree-market approaches. "People feel that they can sit back, thatthey don't have to contribute, that the government and the companyowe them a living," says Derek Hughes, managing director ofHughes Group Ltd., a Dublin bookseller. "It's just the wrong culture.It's against an enterprise culture."

And while that culture may very well be changing, prodded bydouble-digit unemployment rates and unmanageable budget deficits,it's still true that the entrepreneurs who built Europe's 500 havedone so with an almost unimaginable lack of governmental or culturalsupport. "Entrepreneurs should be able to spend 80% of theirtime getting customers," says Kenneth Iversen, managingdirector of Unimerco A/S, a tool-grinding company in Sunds,Denmark. "But if you have to spend 50% of your time doingadministrative work for the government, you have only about 40% leftto sell." Beyond eating up time, some regulations can even inflictharm, forcing company builders to reveal company financials tocompetitors. (See "It's Against Regulations," below.)

In most countries, the government further burdens start-ups withhigh taxation rates -- in Germany, most companies are taxed at a rateof 70%, "which is not very friendly to entrepreneurs," Kramer says.And labor agreements make it difficult to fire or lay off employees."It's not good enough to say that they are lazy, they're not doingtheir jobs," says John Nike, chairman of Nike LandSecurities, a real-estate-holding company based in England ."You have to build a lot of evidence."

Not that most European entrepreneurs have to worry about suchproblems. Many never get that far, because they can't find investors."If you want to raise small amounts of venture capital for astart-up, you cannot do it," claims Tim Atterton, director of thesmall-business center at the Durham University BusinessSchool, in England. "We don't have the mechanism for it." Currently,only 7% of available venture capital in Europe -- a pool that totaled$5.4 billion in 1994 -- ever finds its way into start-ups. "We havemore capital than in America. We have much higher savings," saysTwaalfhoven. "But we don't have people willing to risk thosesavings." Banks, for the most part, are an expensive and demandingalternative. Hervé Coutelas, CEO of Plastic SystemInternational , a plastic and aluminum wholesaler in Reims,France, says that banks charge small growth companies such high ratesthat he can't grow as rapidly as he'd like and fend off competitors."This climate of excessive prudence is a stumbling block todevelopment," he says.

If the bankers lack faith in entrepreneurs -- well, they are only human. And no matter which country they hailed from, themembers of Europe's 500 agreed that entrepreneurs tended not to beheld in the most altitudinous esteem. "There's no particular glamourin starting a business," says Lorna MacDougall, an organizationalconsultant in Scotland. "It's not thought of as a particularly heroicthing to do." As evidence, albeit scant, that that may be changing,she points to a Scottish TV game show called The BusinessGame, a corporate-tinged Star Search during which a panelof experts analyzes a group of businesses, awarding one a prize."Little by little, there's a realization that business is an activitywith real contributions to make," she says.

Unless, of course, you happen to be starting out. "There's anegative view of start-ups," says Liautaud. "People aren't sure aboutthe people who run them."
But Europeans who are starting businesses now at least will haverole models to inspire them: 500 of them, to be exact. "The fact thatthese people exist at all is a much greater testament to theirefforts than it would be for entrepreneurs over here," says DavidBirch. "These people are gutsy. They're doing things they're notsupposed to do." Including, now, creating a forum for themselves atwhich they can push for the kinds of policy shifts European countrieswill have to make to encourage more entrepreneurship. And, of course,at which they can begin to feel less alone as company builders.

"This has given us some strength," says Joaquin Cayuela, presidentof Duplico, SA, a video-duplication company in San Agustin deGuadalix, Spain. "It has given us some pride about what we do.We are the driving force of the economy, and we should have that."

* * *

Additional research provided by George Gendron and Jeffrey L.Seglin.


IT'S AGAINST REGULATIONS: COMPETITION

Wally (Waltherus) de Jong

CEO, InterActive Holding, BV

Age: 42

Company location: Didam, Netherlands

Founded: 1986

Business: Manufacturing flue systems

1994 revenues: 57 million guilders (roughly $35.4 million at presstime)

Revenue growth, 1990ö1994: 543%

Number of employees: 160

When Wally de Jong has questions about his competitors -- Just howmuch are they paying their employees? In what new products are theyinvesting their profits? -- he doesn't resort to cheap gossip toferret out the answers. He's not above that sort of thing; he justdoesn't have to do it.

In the Netherlands, where de Jong's company is based, allcompanies are required to register with the chamber of commerce. "Thelarger you are, the more figures you have to publish, and everybodycan see where your weaknesses are," says de Jong, president ofInterActive Holding, BV, which makes flue systems for gas-firedboilers. "I know my competitors are looking up my numbers, becauseI'm doing the same to them." The system, set up to help suppliersdecide whether they ought to do business with certain customers, ispart of what de Jong describes as the country's tendency to "regulateeverything that moves."

And everyone who moves, he might add. InterActive employs about160 full-time workers but adds as many as 80 temporary workers duringpeak season. "If people are on your payroll, it's very difficult toget rid of them," explains the 42-year-old. "I've had a few cases inwhich people didn't function well, and I've had to pay quite a bit."According to an agreement worked out between the government, theunion, and the industry, de Jong has to pay severance of up to twomonths' salary for every year worked to any employee over 50 whom hewants to terminate, for example. "I'm very afraid to employ anexperienced person," he admits.

It's not that de Jong can't handle fear. When he launched thecompany, nearly a decade ago, his much-larger previous employer tookhim to court, unsuccessfully claiming he had stolen its idea for aflue that would fit new high-efficiency boilers. "Now they are in thesame business we are in, but they are much less successful," he says,noting that InterActive's sales hit $36 million last year, withpretax profits of 10%. Of course, he would never tell anyone how muchhe personally makes. There's no regulation that prevents him frombragging; it's just not considered appropriate. "People here nevertalk about how well we are doing," he adds. "When my parents ask meif it's going well, I just say yes, and that's it. If they knew howwealthy I've become, they'd be shocked and dismayed." -- J.H.


MY MONEY LIES OVER THE OCEAN: GOING PUBLIC

Bernard Liautaud and Denis Payre
Cofounders, Business Objects, SA
Age: Both 33
Company location: Puteaux, France
Founded: 1990
Business: Software that simplifies use of corporate databases
1994 revenues: 148 million French francs (roughly $30 million atpress time)
Revenue growth, 1990ö1994: 4,212.4%
Number of employees: 225

It's not as if the founders of Business Objects actually wanted torun a company in Silicon Valley -- what, and battle that traffic? --but they did want a Silicon Valleyölike stash of cash behind them.

Which is why Bernard Liautaud and Denis Payre, cofounders of thesoftware company with its only offices just outside Paris, took theirthen-four-year-old business public on NASDAQ in 1994. On its firstday of trading, September 23, the company's stock rose from $17.50 toits closing price of $29.50. That 69% increase gave Business Objects,which had annual revenues of $30 million, a market valuation of astaggering $424 million. Liautaud, who serves as CEO, describes thecompany's stock-market success as an "electric shock" to thetechnology community back home. "In France," he adds, "we would havebeen valued three or four times less than we were on NASDAQ."

Which is, of course, precisely why Business Objects opted tobecome the first French high-tech company to go public on NASDAQ,rather than settle for a listing on the Paris bourse. OtherEuropean companies have followed their lead: some 22 of them wentpublic on these shores in 1995, up from 13 the previous year. "Weopened the eyes of a lot of people," Liautaud says.

The exodus is not likely to reverse itself anytime soon. At thispoint Europe's equity markets can't generate the sums that areroutinely raised in this country. Part of the problem stems fromEuropean investors' traditional reluctance to put their money intosmall companies. In addition, Europe's equity markets are simply toosmall to support enough analysts to provide investors with reliabledata on early-stage companies.

Then again, Business Objects' leap to NASDAQ was only part of thecompany's plan to apply "the Silicon Valley model," as Liautauddescribes it, to company building. The cofounders also made suchtypically American moves as raising venture capital, introducingstock options, and adopting English as the company's language. "Wereally don't consider ourselves a French company," declares Liautaud."We're a transnational." -- J. U.


IT'S ALL RELATIVE: SUCCESSION

Domingo Arochena
Chairman and president, Indas, SA
Age: 53
Company location:
Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain
Founded: 1950
Business: Making personal-hygiene products
1994 revenues: 7.6 billion pesetas (roughly $63 million
at press time)
Revenue growth, 1990ö1994: 46%
Number of employees: 337

When Domingo Arochena opened up the floor for questions, he wasn'texpecting the merciless grilling he got: Why do you spend so much onadvertising? What is the exact percentage of sales that belong tosupermarkets? How much is the research-and-development budget? "Fromthe tone, they were all very serious about our business," saysArochena, chairman and president of Indas, SA, based just outsideMadrid. "That was good to hear."

No, Arochena was not trying to attract outsiders to invest in his$63-million company, which makes such hygiene-related products asdiapers and sanitary napkins. Quite the opposite: this was a meeting-- one of three held last year -- with his own family. The questions,which followed his presentation about Indas, came from the fourmembers of the next generation who are over 18. "My personal opinionis that they have an interest in doing this," says the 53-year-old,who bought the company from his uncle in 1970. "It's important toknow that someone will follow you."

Like their American counterparts, Europe's family businesses havetrouble surviving into the third generation because "the young aretoo busy spending our money," as Arochena puts it. And there's anadditional pressure: multinationals that want to enter the Europeanmarket are trolling the continent for vulnerable businesses. Lastyear alone Arochena received six offers. Procter & Gamble Co., inparticular, has been swallowing European competitors, he says. "Ithink they are waiting for me to weaken," he says. "But if I were tosell, I would not know what to do the next day."

Not that Arochena always knew what he wanted to do. After earninghis M.B.A., he worked outside the business for seven years beforegetting word that his childless uncle wanted to sell the 20-year-oldcompany, then generating about $250,000 a year. Arochena bought hisuncle's 60% share and later bought out his partners, among them hisown father. "The previous generation never trusts you quite 100%, butI think they saw I was the best person," reflects Arochena. "Thatcontinuity was very important to them -- as it is to me." -- J.H.


FORGET PARIS: HIRING THE BEST

Eric Hautemont
CEO, Ray Dream Inc.
Age: 30
Company location: Mountain View, Calif.
Founded: 1989
Business: 3-D graphics software
1994 revenues: $5.3 million
Revenue growth, 1990ö1994: 715%
Number of employees: 45

While visiting Silicon Valley in 1988, entrepreneur EricHautemont called up several friends back home in France andissued them a stern directive: drop your croissants and getover here.

Hautemont, who had spent two years developing a 3-D graphicsprogram, was not particularly taken with California cuisine. But assomeone starting a business, he was hungry for the kind ofhospitality he saw being extended to start-ups, as displayedin the availability of venture capital and a risk-taking talent pool."Everything is here," Hautemont recalls telling his colleagues. "We'dbe crazy to start up a company in France." Within a few months of histransatlantic call, he and his four compatriots -- all under the ageof 26 -- had reassembled in Mountain View and launched Ray DreamInc.
The rest is, as they say, histoire ancienne. Withthe help of a few bottles of French wine, Hautemont persuadedJean-Louis Gassée, fellow expatriate and then president of theproducts division of Apple Computer Inc., to invest in Ray Dream andjoin its board. Thanks to Gassée's reputation, the companysecured $300,000 from Sofinnova, one of four French-owned venturefirms in the Valley. The following year, in 1991, the company landedanother $2 million from Venrock Associates. "We would have foundmoney in France but on a much smaller scale," claims Hautemont."Instead of looking to do $15 million in sales this year, we'd belooking at doing $1 million or $2 million."

Hautemont was amazed when top talent at such Silicon Valley giantsas Adobe Systems were willing to take pay cuts as big as 25% to joinRay Dream. "If you are in your early forties in France and you have aVP-level position in a large company, there's no way you aregoing to tell your wife and kids that you are going to a start-up,"says Hautemont, who is 30. Even those few inclined to do so,he adds, would not work for a much-younger boss. "That'sunthinkable," he notes.

Such obstacles help explain why 20% of Europe's top 50 softwarecompanies have moved their headquarters to these shores. Ray Dream'srevenues have doubled every year since its founding. "You succeed andfail and make mistakes about five times faster here than you would inFrance," he says. "In the first 3 years, I felt like I aged 10 or 15years. You could see the strain on everyone's face. But we would havegotten bored in France." -- J. U.


EUROPE'S 500 AT A GLANCE

Facts and figures behind Europe's fast-growing companies

Recruiting Employees
Just over 53% of all Europe's 500 experience problems recruitingqualified staff members. These are the kinds of workers they hadtrouble finding and the percentage of respondents that had difficultyin each category:

Skilled workers 48.2%

Technicians 32.5%

Salespeople 31%

Managers 31%

Unskilled workers 12.7%

Young workers 4.6%

Other 14.7%

Here are the reasons CEOs had trouble hiring among those groups,by the percentage of CEOs that cited them:

Candidates lacked the necessary skills 62.6%

Candidates lacked the appropriate levelof experience 52%

Candidates just weren't available 46.9%

Candidates wanted too much money 19%

Other 12.3%

Public versus private
Do you intend to go public in the coming three years?

We're already public 9%

Yes, we have definite plans 6%

Yes, but we have no definite plans 11%

We're investigating it 15%

No 59%

Number of companies by country
Portugal 16

Spain 44

France 66

Italy 32

Greece 17

Austria 14

Germany 61

Luxembourg 2

Belgium 24

Last updated: Apr 1, 1996




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