China Mobile shuffles execs as profits grow

China Mobile has replaced its CEO with a younger man, despite growing profits and revenues during 1H10.
Wang Jianzhou has been replaced by vice president Li Yue from today, as part of the firm’s regular rotation of executives designed to keep the posts of chairman and CEO separate, it said in a statement.
The respected manager will retain his roles as executive director and chairman, while Li takes over as CEO for an unspecified term, the carrier stated.
Industry watchers expect Wang to be rewarded for his service to China Mobile – the world’s largest mobile carrier by market value – with a top job in China’s government.
His last act as CEO was to unveil a better than expected 4% rise in 1H profits to RMB57.64 billion (€6.6 billion), as revenues grew 7.9% to RMB229.8 billion.
The figures were boosted by China’s strong economy and came despite intense competition and growing mobile penetration in the market, the firm said.
EBITDA was up 6.1% to RMB116 billion.
Analysts predicted 1H profits of RMB56.29 billion, the BBC reported, while 2Q10 sales of RMB120.7 billion beat the average of RMB119.7 billion forecast by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
The carrier boosted its subscriber base by 31.8 million during 1H, taking its total to 554 million.
However Samsung Securities analyst Paul Wuh said he was concerned about the impact of the rise in rural subscribers on ARPU, Bloomberg reported, noting that roughly half the users added during the period were based in rural areas.