International Growth Important To Tech Firms, Study Shows

Compiled By Deborah Austin Despite slowed economies, most U.S. technology-company CEO's plan continued international expansion. But they disagree with venture capitalists over expansion strategies, suggests a recent survey -- "Measurement of CEO Attitudes on Global Expansion" -- commissioned by Protege Group, London, which provides services for building technology businesses internationally. Of the CEO's, 76% said international growth is important to technology companies' success -- and 89% saw competitive disadvantages to not being first in a new territory. But in benchmark interviews, venture capitalists said international expansion should wait until a solid U.S. base is established -- while 82% of CEO's said opportunistic client wins were the catalyst for such expansion. Venture capitalists said local managing directors should have authority to make local decisions; only 6% of CEO's give such directors authority over business strategy. "The bad news is that CEOs may not be equipping themselves for success by pursuing highly disciplined strategies and vesting their local management with real authority," says Larry Levy, CEO, Protege Group.

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