Report: Huawei CEO says successor won't be a family member

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said the person who succeeds him as CEO will not be a member of his family, according to a letter that Ren sent to employees internally.

Huawei Ren Zhengfei

Zhengfei

"Huawei's successor should not only have vision, character and ambition, like what we've said before, but also a good global perspective and the acumen to drive the business," Ren wrote in the letter. "My family members do not possess these qualities. Thus, we will never be in the running of the successor race." The contents of the letter were confirmed by two unnamed sources within the company, according to Reuters.

A Huawei spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the authenticity of the letter. Huawei declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Speculation has grown over who will succeed Ren at Huawei, which has grown into the world's second largest network gear vendor behind Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

In April 2012, Huawei set up a rotating CEO system under which the 68-year-old Ren splits up the duties of the CEO with a panel of top executives for six-month stints. The three executives are Ken Hu, Guo Ping and Eric Xu; none of them is related to Ren.

Despite speculation that Huawei will launch an initial public offering, Ren said in the letter that would not happen in the next five to 10 years. "We have not studied the issue of an IPO because we feel that listing is not conducive for our development," he wrote.

In other Huawei news, the company said it will not abandon the U.S. market for network equipment. The issue caught fire when Xu was quoted as saying, "We are not interested in the U.S. market any more."

"Mr. Xu's statement reflects the realities of our carrier network business in the U.S.," spokesman Scott Sykes told Forbes. "The growth of Huawei's carrier network business is primarily from developed markets in other parts of the world. Considering the situation our company currently faces in the U.S., it would be very difficult for the U.S. market to become a primary revenue source or a key growth area for our carrier network business in the foreseeable future. In spite of this challenge, our U.S. employees remain committed to providing quality services for our customers."

Huawei has been hounded by concerns that its equipment poses a national security threat; Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Forbes article

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