Philips's CEO Urges Local Strategies for Emerging Markets

When Philips Electronics NV Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee retires next year from the electronics conglomerate he has led for a decade, he will leave a company that is increasingly focused on emerging markets.

Mr. Kleisterlee, 63 years old, has pushed the company to get growth from developing markets, especially China and Latin America, where health care, lighting and consumer products are gaining momentum.

Philips’s emerging-market sales rose 29 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier and make up 34 percent of the company’s total sales. The company aims to boost emerging-market sales from 30 percent to 50 percent by 2015 by focusing on China, which is spending $125 billion to build tens of thousands of hospitals and clinics during the next three years. Philips is also ramping up its staff and research divisions in China.

Elsewhere, Mr. Kleisterlee has pushed the company to shrink its work force and divest laggard businesses, such as its semiconductor unit in 2006.

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