ZTE fills executive ranks with new management, picks replacement CEO

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 11:46am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 11:18pm

ZTE Corp, the Chinese telecoms giant hit by US sanctions, has tapped an in-house executive with experience in product research and operations to serve as new CEO as it endeavors to get back on track as quickly as possible after receiving the green light from US authorities to resume business for one month.

Xu Ziyang, president of ZTE’s Telecom Cloud and Core Network product line, has been selected as the new CEO, according to people familiar with the matter.

A call made to Xu through ZTE’s main line went unanswered. A ZTE spokesperson declined to comment.

Li Ying, currently a vice-president in the finance department, will take over the role of CFO while Gu Junying, a newly elected executive director on the new board, will head the company’s human resources department, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the information remains confidential.

ZTE management reshuffle still in play as US export ban partially lifted

The US banned ZTE from buying any American electronics parts after the company violated US trade laws by selling products to US-sanctioned Iran and North Korea, then covering it up and lying about it.

In recent days, several people have also seen Xu, who is normally stationed in the company’s Nanjing operation, at ZTE’s main campus in Shenzhen. Previously, Xu served as the CEO of ZTE’s German operation, at a time when the Chinese company signed a five year service contract with German telecoms operator E-Plus, displacing the previous provider Alcatel-Lucent.

ZTE will terminate employment contracts with former senior management, including executive vice presidents and senior vice presidents, by Thursday.

In other executive appointments, Wang Xiyu will be ZTE’s new chief technology officer, Yang Jianming is the new supply chain chief, Xie Junshi is to head up operations management, Wang Xiang will lead strategy and investment, and Xu Feng is in charge of the terminal department.

The Trump administration on Tuesday temporarily lifted part of a ban it had placed on ZTE, allowing the Chinese telecoms giant to resume some of its business activities while the US Congress continues to consider penalties on the company.

Under the temporary authorisation, the company is allowed receive shipments from its American suppliers, according to a notice published on the Bureau of Industry and Security website on Tuesday.

ZTE has suffered huge losses from a shutdown of its operations in the wake of the US ban. The company, which had revenue of 108.8 billion yuan (US$16.7 billion) last year, has faced losses of several million yuan per day, excluding miscellaneous penalties due to breach of contract with some clients

The Shenzhen company last week appointed Li Zixue as its new chairman. The 54-year-old Li was formerly deputy director of the Xi’an Microelectronics Technology Institute, a state research organisation, and someone who backed the founding of ZTE decades ago. He has promised a resumption of operations at ZTE as soon as the export ban is lifted by the US government.