Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Huawei’s Richard Yu said to move up as chairman of firm’s consumer business

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Yu, 54, will be replaced as chief executive at Huawei’s consumer business group by He Gang, who is currently the unit’s chief operating officer, according to a report on Wednesday by Chinese digital news outlet The Paper.

Huawei declined to comment.

A review of Yu’s profile page on Huawei’s official website on Wednesday showed that his role at the consumer business group has not been updated. He remains chairman of Huawei’s Intelligent Automotive Solution business unit.

Richard Yu Chengdong, the chairman of Huawei Technologies’ Intelligent Automotive Solution business unit, introduces the new Aito M9 electric sport utility vehicle from carmaker Seres Group at a launch event in tech hub Shenzhen, in southern Guangdong province, on December 26, 2023. Photo: Weibo
The leadership reshuffle at Huawei’s consumer business group reflects the privately held company’s efforts to build up its senior executive bench, following chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou’s appointment as deputy chairwoman in 2018 and rotating chairwoman in 2023.
Yu was also primarily responsible for leading Huawei into Europe two decades ago, when few mobile network operators on the continent had heard of the company or even considered it as a potential telecoms equipment supplier.
In 2004, Yu helped Huawei land a 10-year contract worth 230 million euros (US$246 million) with Dutch telecoms services provider Telfort by devising a cost-effective 3G mobile network solution. That deal put Huawei on the map, which led to contracts with British telecoms titans BT Group and Vodafone Group the following year.
A shopper compares Huawei Technologies’ new Pura 70 Pro and Pura 70 Ultra handset models at the company’s flagship store in Beijing on April 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters
In recent months, Huawei has made a strong comeback in the 5G smartphone market after launching in August its Mate 60 Pro powered by an advanced China-made processor. The new 5G handset sparked a wave of patriotic fervour among Chinese consumers, which boosted its domestic sales.
The company’s 2023 net profit soared to 87 billion yuan (US$12 billion), up 144.5 per cent from 2022, on the back of rising sales of its mainstay telecoms equipment. Its consumer business, which includes the flagship Mate 60 smartphones and its Aito EVs co-developed with Seres Group, grew 17.3 per cent last year, while its cloud computing business expanded 21.9 per cent.

That growth trend has extended into this year, as first-quarter sales reached 178.5 billion yuan, up 37 per cent from 130.6 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to a filing to the National Interbank Funding Centre on Tuesday. Its net profit in the three months ended March surged 564 per cent year on year, the filing showed.

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