The e-business market is expected to break the $US4.5 trillion mark by 2005 with more than 1 billion people connected to the Internet.

    Currently, around 500 dot-com start-ups and spin-offs occur every month with around five dot-coms per week seeking to get on the stock exchange.

    The big question is where are these companies going to find appropriate dot-com CEOs and non-executive directors? According to recruitment firm, Korn/Ferry International, the demand for executives who can lead the dot-com company is rapidly outstripping supply while the time to get these resources onboard and up-to-speed quickly is greatly decreasing. In a recent report, Korn/Ferry tries to define the next generation of business executives who will lead dot-com companies in the 21st century. The report also highlights the need for dot-coms to find appropriate chief commerce officers. And the demand for new age CEOs seems insatiable. Every recruitment company reports huge demand with salaries rising as a consequence. It is not only operating officers that are in demand but also independent non-executive directors.

    In Melbourne, Ralph Wollner (who built one of Australia's largest textile companies and is on a number of government and industry committees) has recently established as a mentoring service for start-up companies. "Despite my grey hairs, there is a great sense of fun and excitement working with enthusiastic, highly motivated young people. Of course not all of the people we work with bring skateboards to meetings. The critical issue in deciding to take a start-up on board includes the strength of the business plan, the integrity of the founders and the competence of the team," says Wollner. Former NSW Premier Nick Greiner recently quit a board seat with Coles Myer to join Internet retailer d-store. The unstoppable push for new company floats is fuelling the demand not only for dot-com CEOs but also independent directors. Korn/Ferry partner Peter Van de Velde told AFR in March: "There is a shortage of qualified experienced people who can act effectively as non-executive directors". When the grey hair non-executive director meets the dot-com CEO that person will have attributes and skills quite different to the public school lawyer or accountant who currently dominates the corporate scene.

    The attributes needed to be a dot-com CEO according to the Korn/Ferry are:

    * Relatively youth - but experience level is important

    * Understanding the customer and net economy marketing techniques

    * Understanding the five key components of making a dot-com successful

    * Education plays only a minor part in the dot-com CEO's ability to lead. (undergraduate degree in technology and an MBA is considered best)

    * The style of the dot-com CEO is that of a rogue warrior, motivated by the thrill of battle

    * They value the commitment of employees to meeting or exceeding goals

    * They accept risks as long as they are manageable

    * They adhere to the five principles of Internet branding.


    The purpose of this database is to provide a full-text record of all articles that have appeared in the CDJ since February 1997. It is aimed to assist in the research and reference process. The database has a full-text index and will enable articles to be easily retrieved.It should be noted that information contained in this database is in pre-publication format only - IT IS NOT THE FINAL PRINTED VERSION OF THE CDJ - therefore there might be slight discrepancies between the contents of this database and the printed CDJ.

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