Rowse joins headhunting firm

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 May, 2010, 12:00am

Retired civil servant Mike Rowse is taking up a job as a search director with headhunting firm Stanton Chase International, after the government gave him the all-clear.

Rowse (pictured), who retired as InvestHK director general at the end of 2008, said he would start work today. He submitted his application to the Civil Service Bureau in January and learned that he had been approved yesterday. Although Rowse already signed off on his employment terms, he must be cleared by the bureau before he can formally work for Stanton Chase. He said the bureau did not impose any special restrictions on his employment.

Since leaving the government, Rowse has asked the bureau for approval seven times. The applications refer to Rowse being a director of his own company, a co-host of RTHK's Backchat programme, a host of a television talkshow on ATV, a regular columnist for the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Economic Journal, an 'occasional columnist' for The Wall Street Journal and a search director at Stanton Chase. The executive search firm position is the only full-time employment for Rowse.

Rowse said he had never dealt with or heard of Stanton Chase before but was approached about joining the firm despite lacking the relevant experience. Rowse will join fellow search directors Brian Crossley, who specialises in the logistics and transportation sector, and Kevin Moore, who covers the technology industry.

Stanton Chase's Hong Kong office was set up in 2007 and is headed by Ivo Hahn, who e-mailed Rowse 'out of the blue' late last year about working for the firm. Rowse said he was in discussions about joining another firm at the time but eventually decided on Stanton Chase.

Separately, the former tourism commissioner Margaret Fong Shun-man, who quit the government in December, has started working as a deputy executive director at the quasi-official Trade Development Council from April 19, after a three-month sanitisation period.

The bureau has approved her new job but imposed three conditions. During her first year at the council, she is barred from being involved in any work relating to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion project, the review of the government's subvention to the council, and the council's discussion on the government's competition legislation.

Fong is in charge of the product promotion, service promotion and international promotion departments at the council, according to the bureau's records.