Priest and CEO reflect on money and ethics at symposium held across Taiwan

From "Taiwan Church News" <>
Date Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:05:24 +0800

3128 Edition

February 6-12, 2012

Headline News

Priest and CEO reflect on money and ethics at symposium held across Taiwan

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

Written by Lydia Ma

As globalization intensifies competition between corporations, holding on to 
ethical practices while increasing profits will become a tough challenge for 
every manager. A forum on this topic was held on February 3, 2012 at Tainan 
Science Park’s Tree Valley Park Auditorium. Co-sponsored by Tainan City, Taiwan 
Church Press, and South & North Publishing Company, the forum featured Anselm 
Gruen, Jochen Zeitz, and Chi Lin Technology CEO Richard K.F. Soong. 

Gruen is a German Benedictine padre and author of many books which have been 
translated and published in Taiwan in recent years. Zeitz, on the other hand, 
was the CEO of renowned sports shoe and sportswear brand Puma before the 
company was taken over by Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). He currently serves 
as the CEO of the PPR’s Sport & Lifestyle Group department. In 2010, Zeitz and 
Gruen co-wrote and published “Prayer, Profit and Principles - Monk and Manager 
in dialogue”, which was later translated and published in Taiwan by South and 

During this forum, Zeitz underscored that ideals such as fairness, honesty, 
positive thinking, and creativity were the 4 guiding principles that led PUMA 
from the brink of bankruptcy to success. He said that these principles directed 
the company’s focus from profits to sustainable development.

Zeitz was appointed Chairman and CEO of PUMA in 1993 and became the youngest 
CEO in German history to head a public company at the age of 30. He managed to 
transform the company from near bankruptcy to a top brand in the sporting goods 
industry. During this forum, he disclosed that PUMA’s woes at the beginning 
were not only financial because there existed many problems amongst employees 
as well. Believing that every obstacle is an opportunity, Jochen implemented a 
long-term development plan and gave PUMA an overhaul.

Zeitz said that Taiwanese entrepreneurs would profit from applying the 4 
guiding principles that transformed PUMA when they make decisions because these 
are important values for any corporation. He underscored that these corporate 
values are not vague philosophies, because they can be turned into policies 
that benefit people.

For his part, Gruen underscored that entrepreneurs must prioritize moral values 
such as justice and self-control. He explained that justice seeks a fair 
distribution of resources, which in turn enhances peace and helps an entire 
corporation move forward in unity. Self-control ensures a controlled pace of 
growth that is both reasonable and natural, because any other kind of growth 
would be harmful.

Gruen also suggested three Christian values that could be applied universally: 
Trust, hope, and “rituals”. He explained that a gesture of trust and hope 
delivered through a ritual can go a long way in helping employees identify with 
their employers and develop a sense of belonging.

During the forum in Tainan, Soong opined from an employer’s perspective that 
caring for employees is one of the most basic responsibilities of corporations. 
“We must not only care for them and strive to understand them, we must also 
boost their self-image and dignity.” 

Using the example of old ladies who make Chimei buns every day to make his 
point on self-image, he said that it’s obvious these women’s goal is to make 
good buns. Perhaps due to their educational background, they can’t grasp the 
meaning of words such as “self-image” or “dignity”. However, if you simply tell 
them, “When you take your grandkids to a convenience store, you can proudly 
point to Chimei buns and say you made them,” these women would have a sense of 
satisfaction, accomplishment, and belonging.

Besides the forum in Tainan, another similar forum was held in Taipei a day 
prior, where Gruen and Zeitz met with renown corporate leaders and former 
officials at an educational center of the Catholic Church.


Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages. 

You may translate and re-use our articles online only if you acknowledge the 
source as "Taiwan Church News" and list the names of the reporter and writer. 
Contact us before reprinting any of our articles for print publications. 

Direct comments and questions about this article to:

Visit our website for more news at: (English) or (Chinese)