April 5, 2016
It is all change at ZTE as speculation over the removal of board members, including the CEO and two EVPs, has been confirmed.
Telecoms.com reported earlier this week the Chinese vendor was set to get rid of three senior ranking officials involved in the circumventing of US trade laws by trading with Iranian operator MCI. ZTE has now confirmed a raft of board-level changes, including the removal of former Chief Executive Shi Lirong and EVPs Tian Wenguo and Qiu Weizhao from the roster.
As expected, Zhao Xianming has been elected as chairman, along with the introduction of seven new board members. Among his first acts as chairman, Mr. Zhao sent a company-wide staff e-mail, made public via the ZTE website.
There was a combative tone to Zhao’s message, which conveyed the image of an organisation determined to atone for the errors of predecessors and rebuild the public image of the company the world over.
“You may have read various articles in the media about ZTE recently,” he said. “I can assure you that we have been transparent and proactive in addressing any issues, and with the support of different parties, the situation is being resolved. At this juncture, we must take time to rethink. We will be taking extra measures to ensure that legal compliance and anti-corruption processes eliminate any possibility of non-compliance. We will put practical measures in place to rebuild our operational philosophy and turn the challenges into opportunities.
“If we go forward with courage, we will go further than we have ever done before. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.
“These special circumstances have tested us, but the new leadership is confident that with teamwork, determination and courage we will charter new journeys and see new horizons. We will walk the path ahead together for an even better future.”
It is thought the board level changes are a concession from ZTE to appease the US Department of Commerce into permanently lifting trade sanctions placed upon it.
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