Huawei turns to Giles for ‘smart’ edge

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By GAO YUAN gaoyuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd has turned to a for­mer Nokia andLen­ovo ex­ec­u­tive to steer and main­tain its edge in the highly com­pet­i­tive smart­phone mar­ket.

Colin Giles, for­mer pres­i­dent of Nokia China and sales di­rec­tor of Len­ovo Group Ltd, has been ap­pointed head of global sales and en­trusted with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of grow­ing the com­pany’s de­vice sales in over­seas mar­kets, said Richard Yu, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the con­sumer busi­ness group atHuawei.

The Chi­nese com­pany is cur­rently ranked third in the world in terms of smart­phone ship­ments, be­hind Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co Ltd and Ap­ple Inc, ac­cord­ing to re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Corp.

The Shen­zhen-based com­pany has the fastest-growth rate among the top five firms and shipped 26.5 mil­lion units glob­ally dur­ing the third quar­ter, a 60.9 per­cent year-on-year surge, IDC said. Huawei ac­counted for 7.5 per­cent of the global smart­phone mar­ket dur­ing the same pe­riod.

James Yan, a smart­phone re­searcher at IDC, said Giles’ strong sales ex­pe­ri­ence and decade-long re­la­tion­ship with over­seas chan­nel part­ners will help Huawei ex­pand its pres­ence out­side of China.

“Huawei has grown to be a ma­jor player in the hand­set mar­ket over the past few years,” Yan said. He said the com­pany needs a stronger in­ter­na­tional sales team to sell its prod­ucts, es­pe­cially when it is tar­get­ing the pre­mium mar­ket dom­i­nated by Ap­ple and Sam­sung.

Giles spent most of his sales and mar­ket­ing ca­reer in Asia. He started to fo­cus on China sales while head­ing Nokia’s East Asia hand­set sales in the early 2000s.

He briefly joined Huawei’s mar­ket­ing team in mid-2013 be­fore join­ing Len­ovo as vi­cepres­i­dent re­spon­si­ble for sales of Len­ovo-branded de­vices in emerg­ing mar­kets and Mo­torola smart­phones in de­vel­oped coun­tries such as the United States.

Giles ended an un­suc­cess­ful 15-month ca­reer in Len­ovo in July days af­ter Len­ovo CEO Yang Yuan­qing sacked Liu Jun, the head of the mo­bil­ity unit, for poor smart­phone sales. Giles was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ments on his new job.

Huawei is tak­ing ag­gres­sive steps in over­seas ex­pan­sion af­ter in­dus­try con­sul­tancy Canalys gave the com­pany the top slot in China sales, ahead of af­ford­able de­vice maker Xiaomi Corp.

Ni­cole Peng, di­rec­tor of Canalys China, saidHuawei is shift­ing its fo­cus to over­seas sales af­ter claim­ing the top po­si­tion on its home turf amid a de­mand slow­down.

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