View from the top

Jun 06 | 2024

Steve Jordan talks to Matt Tebbe, the newly-appointed president and CEO of Cartus, for his views on the industry, and what the future might hold.

Matt Tebbe, Cartus CEO Matt Tebbe became CEO of Cartus nine months ago.  He hasn’t worked in mobility before, though he has spent time as an expat, so this is his outsider’s view of the industry he has joined.

Our interview was sparked when Cartus issued its most recent survey.  As always, if you read them carefully, these surveys create more questions than answers.  We started with an observation that the survey had identified ‘an enhancement of in-house mobility processes’. What exactly does this mean?

Matt said that procurement is taking a more active role in mobility with the traditional operating methods being upended, especially since COVID. “Clients are taking more in-house because of the changes that are occurring within the industry.”  Does that mean they are cutting out RMCs and working more directly with suppliers? He said it was impossible to say that because of the range of services provided by RMCs. “Our clients tell us that they face a growing pressure to do more with less. By ‘more’, I mean that the pandemic has added new layers of complexity to their global mobility teams. They have to deal with remote workers, diversity and inclusion goals, talent retention and attraction, and all while delivering the best employee experience possible. One way to overcome this challenge – in addition to working with a relocation service provider – is for in-house mobility teams to streamline and improve their internal processes. There's no question that the traditional relationship between the client and the RMC is changing.”

Is that change being driven by technology that’s allowing corporations to do more themselves? “Somewhat,” he said. “Our clients are looking for more technology, but there is always friction in the process.  There's always something that requires that human involvement. When you are talking about relocation, you need empathy and understanding of the emotional side of it.  We’ll see how AI evolves, but right now that cannot be replicated by technology. I think there is a desire for technology as an enabler, but nobody is looking to remove the human side.”

As an outsider, Matt was, however, critical of the rate at which RMCs had adopted technology ...

Photo: Matt Tebbe.

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