The leadership of the company changes from time to time, as Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei steps down from the board and functions as the company’s CEO. Zhengfei is not the only one to resign. Sun Yafang has resigned from the post of president and legal representative.
Rotating President Xu Zhijun, Chen Zhidong and Dong Qingyang also resigned from their important roles at Huawei. Guo Ping will take over as acting and rotating president from April 1 to September 30. Ping will also head the board of directors, executive committee, and become Huawei’s front man.
Position changes are normal for Huawei
Huawei’s position changes are normal for the company. In 2018, the company saw its positions change for the first time in six years. Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, daughter of CEO Ren Zhengfei and Huawei’s CFO, has become one of the four vice presidents. Zhengfei remained CEO but stepped down as vice president.
Eric Xu Zhijun, Guo Ping and Ken Hu Houkun became rotating vice-presidents. Howard Liang Hua remains permanent president. Ping, Houkun and Zhijun had once turned CEOs.
In 2019, Eric Xu Zhijun became the interim (but rotating) president of Huawei until March 31, 2020, according to the company’s own press release. In November 2019, Sun Yafang, Guo Ping, Zhengfei and Xu Wenwei left Huawei’s Digital Technology Company.
In general, there are three CEOs on rotation and they change positions from time to time. Sometimes the changes are more frequent than others, but rest assured, a CEO will not stay in mind for long.
As can be seen, Huawei’s top executives often change positions at Huawei and its subsidiaries. It is not new.
Huawei CEO leaves office as director: why is this normal practice?
Why are these changes of direction part of the business as usual for Huawei? The reason is to keep things fresh and new. According to Ren Zhengfei, the changes must allow the company to adapt to a constantly changing world and industry. Huawei wants to stay competitive, and to do that, it must be ready to change position and allow new ideas.
Keeping someone as CEO all the time would result in the loss of new ideas on how to run the business. “Huawei has not found a way to adapt well to a rapidly changing society,” wrote Ren Zhengfei in 2012. The rotating CEO position is one way to stay flexible. Whether it succeeds or not is debatable.
Huawei problems under Zhengfei
Huawei has had its share of problems in the past year or so under the leadership of Ren Zhengfei. Her daughter, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada for violating US trade sanctions against Iran. The company has also been accused of leaving software and hardware vulnerabilities in its devices in order to commit spying for its original government in Beijing.
Huawei itself is only seen as a branch of the Chinese state, as Ren Zhengfei owns 2% as CEO of the company. The rest are owned by a company that some say is a mask to government officials.
Zhengfei himself worked in telecommunications and served in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) before becoming CEO of Huawei. And Huawei has worked with the Chinese government (Beijing) on at least ten technology projects.
When Huawei employees post technology articles to the military, they must use the Huawei company logo as authentication.
In addition, the United States and China disagree with Huawei’s ban imposed in the United States in mid-May 2019. The company has had its Android license revoked and the company must receive extension licenses for continue to update their mobile device software.