Career Forum Apr 2016: Shadow a CEO Programme – Find solutions to increasingly complex transport problems with Thales’ Henry Cheung
Five top executives will be taking part in the latest iteration of Classified Post’s Shadow a CEO Programme. Find out more about Henry Cheung, CEO, Thales Transport and Security (HK) and what he has planned for his shadows below.
What does Thales Transport and Security (TTS) do?
Thales employs about 300 people in Hong Kong, 70 per cent of whom are engineers. TTS (HK), our urban-transportation business, provides one-stop-shop solutions for revenue-collection systems and signalling systems. These cover everything from systems design and development to installation and maintenance.
Our Hong Kong business is not just limited to Hong Kong, but extends to mainland China and other countries spread across the entire region. We help our customers operate their infrastructure at higher capacities, so passengers and goods can reach their destinations more quickly, safely, with less pollution and at a lower cost.
What sort of products to you provide?
We have expertise in key technologies needed to design and develop mission-critical information systems. An example of one of our premium products is our SelTrac CBTC solution, which is an IT-based signalling solution for urban rail which includes “moving block” technology for unattended or driverless operation. Such systems offer excellent operational flexibility under even the most demanding of conditions.
What activities do you have planned for your shadows?
I intend to engage my shadows with practical engineering experiences from a management perspective. They will participate in my meetings and will be given special tasks to do so that they can understand the industry, our division and the essence of being a successful leader within the engineering and ground-transportation industry.
What do you hope your shadows will get out of the experience?
I hope they get a taste of what it’s like to work in a company with an international culture. I hope they feel excited about being a part of the innovation that goes on all around us, and enjoy our collaborative environment that revolves around teamwork.
What leadership skills or lessons are you hoping to impart?
I want the shadows to gain an understanding of how to drive innovation as a leader. They should also see the importance of being resourceful, a good team player and having good discipline.
What skills and characteristics will impress you in applicants?
Most importantly, I’m looking for candidates to have a passion for engineering. Those who also show a customer-oriented mindset and good business acumen will have a good chance of success.
What is the job market like for graduates in the industry?
It’s full of potential – Hong Kong has a huge demand for engineering students to support the city’s various construction and infrastructure projects. For us as a multinational company, we are leveraging more demand from clients and all of them are requesting the same – more effective and efficient transportation systems.