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Wang Xiang, group president at Xiaomi Corp, leads a product launch at MWC Barcelona in Spain on February 24, 2019. Wang will retire from his position at the end of this year, but will continue to serve as a senior adviser of the company. Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi sees departure of three senior executives at year’s end as firm pushes new round of job cuts

  • Group president Wang Xiang, who joined Xiaomi from Qualcomm in 2015, will retire from his position, but continue to serve as a senior adviser
  • His successor will be Lu Weibing, who currently serves as a senior vice-president as well as president for the China region and international department
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp on Friday announced the departure of group president Wang Xiang, along with two of the company’s co-founders, at the end of this year, as the Beijing-based company pushes its latest round of lay-offs.
Xiaomi founder, chairman and chief executive Lei Jun said in an internal email announcing those departures that the company would continue to sharpen its business focus, while streamlining its workforce for operational efficiency.

“Despite lots of difficulties and challenges, as long as we stay united and forge ahead, we will win new victories,” Lei said. Shares of Xiaomi closed down 2 per cent to HK$10.80 in Hong Kong on Friday.

Wang, who joined Xiaomi from Qualcomm in 2015, will retire from his position, but continue to serve the company as a senior adviser. He will be succeeded as president by Lu Weibing, who currently serves as group senior vice-president as well as president for the China region and international department.
Hong Feng, co-founder and senior vice-president at Xiaomi Corp., speaks at the Singapore FinTech Festival on November 11, 2019. Photo: Bloomberg
Xiaomi co-founders Hong Feng, a senior vice-president in charge of the firm’s MIUI mobile operating system, and Wang Chuan, who serves as chief strategy officer, “will withdraw from the front line of the business at the end of the year”, according to a statement from a company representative on Friday.
The announcement of the three senior executives’ exit comes days after Xiaomi confirmed that “less than 10 per cent” of its total workforce are being laid off, as part of “routine personnel optimisation and organisational streamlining”.
The restructuring reflects the pressure that Xiaomi faces after it reported a nearly 10 per cent revenue decline in the third quarter amid a slumping global smartphone market and weak consumer demand at home.
The company had earlier cut more than 900 jobs, or nearly 3 per cent of its workforce, in the second quarter owing to the country’s flagging economy.

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi cuts thousands of jobs amid weak sales

The announced departures follow the resignation earlier this month of Raghu Reddy, who left his position as Xiaomi India’s chief business officer to “pursue different growth opportunities”.
Reddy’s exit came two months after Xiaomi said a local court’s decision to freeze US$676 million of its funds over alleged illegal remittances – a claim the company has repeatedly denied – would “effectively halt” its operations in the country.

The senior executive reshuffle at Xiaomi’s headquarters, meanwhile, solidifies the rise through the ranks of Wang successor Lu, who joined the firm in January 2019 and, according to his company profile, led a number of highly successful product launches. He currently also serves as general manager of Xiaomi’s Redmi brand.

Before Xiaomi, Lu founded and served as chief executive of Shenzhen Chenyee Technology Co from June 2017 to December 2018. He was the president of Gionee Conmmunication Equipment Co from April 2010 to June 2017.