Huawei: the daughter of the founder takes the lead

Posted Apr 3, 2022, 4:21 PMUpdated on Apr 4, 2022 at 9:08 am

Six months after returning to China, Meng Wanzhou takes the lead at Huawei. The daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecom giant joins the top three, whose members provide general management of the company on six-month rotations. While remaining chief financial officer, she becomes Huawei’s “rotating general management” in alongside Hu Houkun and Xu Zhijun, according to an update from Huawei’s website. Set up in 2011, this rather unusual governance structure allows for collegial decision-making around the founder, Ren Zhengfei, who retains the title of general manager, a role which certainly gives a kind of right of inspection and even veto on the strategy, but less involved in day-to-day business.

The nomination of Meng Wanzhou seals her return to the front of the stage. Returning to China in September after three years of politico-diplomatic soap opera, she made her first media appearance in China on Monday by participating in the presentation of Huawei’s annual results from the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, in the south of the country. In the Huawei triumvirate, she replaces Guo Ping, who joined the group’s supervisory board.

The leader was arrested in late 2018 during an escalation in Vancouver at the request of US authorities who accused her of lying to circumvent sanctions against Iran. His arrest had been at the center of geopolitical and trade tensions between China and the United States. But, after three years of procedure where she was under house arrest with an electronic bracelet in one of her villas in Vancouver, she regained her freedom.

Meng Wanzhou’s return to China was made possible by an agreement between US authorities and the Chinese telecom juggernaut. Last year, in an agreement reached in a court in New York, the prosecution against her by the United States Department of Justice was suspended until 1uh december. And, according to Washington, if the agreement in court is not challenged or broken by then, the lawsuits will be permanently dropped.

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