The writer is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank
Globalisation has been good for companies in at least one important way: it has allowed businesses to scour the world for talent. Though it would have been a rarity half a century ago, today a foreign-born chief executive is unremarkable. Pepsi, for instance, is run by a Spaniard, Ramon Laguarta. India-born Satya Nadella leads Microsoft and easyJet’s chief, Johan Lundgren, is a Swede. In the UK, 46 per cent of FTSE 100 chief executives were foreign nationals in 2018.
But the era of borderless enterprise may be past. Geopolitical tensions are rising, leaving business in the line of fire. Suddenly companies’, and executives’, nationalities matter again.
Executives’ supposed allegiance is to their shareholders, but as geopolitical confrontation intensifies, the matter of national allegiance will resurface. The chief executive of one…