Monday, October 27, 2008

Toronto Business Trip

I normally don't do much business travel for Broadcom. In the past (almost) nine years, I've only gone to San Jose, Vancouver, and Singapore for work, and only once per location. However, with our acquisition of AMD's DTV division, I'll be spending a lot of time this winter in Toronto.

I've been offered the opportunity to help integrate the finance team and forecasting process. Initially the VP of Finance asked if I was willing to move here full-time for 12 months. He's originally from Brampton which is the next town/city north of Mississauga (where I grew up), and he knows I'm Canadian. After careful consideration and some advice from our international tax guy, I offered to come up 2-3 weeks per month for 6-8 months. There is a 183-day rule in Canada; if I stay more than 183 days in a 12 month period, then I'm deemed a Canadian resident and my worldwide income is taxable by Canada. Since Canada is a huge welfare state, I need to avoid having the other 50% of my income go to Canadian taxes.

I'm also not sure what I'll be doing here exactly. We are getting two finance people as part of the acquisition so they will be doing all the work. I guess I'm here to grease the wheels and help them do things the Broadcom way (without going to jail... j/k). Since the assignment is short, it's not worth the effort to do a full relocation so I'm keeping my apartment in California which helps with the argument that I'm not a Canadian resident. However, I want to get an apartment here as well instead of living in a hotel room forever so I can leave all my winter clothing here instead of packing/unpacking luggage every month. I'll need to discuss this with our HR rep to see what Broadcom will provide with this near-expat assignment. I had dinner with my parents earlier this evening. They're about an hour away from AMD Markham so it's too far for me to live with them and commute.

Overall, I think this will be a good learning experience even though I will still be responsible for my old job in FP&A. The workload in FP&A is very lumpy; sometimes were really busy, especially right before quarterly earning calls, but other times there's not much to do. My one and only staff will need to self-manage more and I'll probably be a lot busier. The upside is that I get to learn about a new business and how business unit finance works without actually working for a BU.

Coming back is a bit weird though. For the longest time, I thought I was done with Canada. Even though I grew up in Mississauga/Toronto, I've lived in California for the past 23 years and gotten used to its unique culture. In addition, I've traveled a lot to Asia (China/Hong Kong/Taiwan) these past two years so I feel closer to my Chinese roots. Now that I'm looking at spending the next six months here, and reconnected with some high school friends via Facebook, I'm feeling a bit confused about who I am again.


hogsman said...

Remember that it's just a job. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet up with your high school friends, relive fond memories, and spend funny-colored money on things you can't get back here in the States. But try not to listen to too much Bryan Adams, Loverboy, or Rush.

totochi said...

Haha, my first rock concert was a Rush concert at Maple Leaf Gardens back in the early 80's. All I remember was that it was loud and there was a lot of drugs.