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Industry reaction: Ex-BT Chief joins Huawei UK Board

Mobile News
April 22, 2020

Sir Michael Rake has been an advisor to Huawei since the start of 2019

Huawei has appointed former President of the Confederation of British Industry and former Chairman of BT group, Sir Michael Rake to the board as a non- executive director.

He had been an adviser to the company since 1 January 2019.

He said: “At BT, I saw first-hand how Huawei worked with Britain’s leading operators to roll out broadband, 3G and 4G. I look forward to working with them again on the next generation of technology as the company extends its 20 year track record in the UK.”

Analysts agreed Sir Michael’s appointment was a good move for Huawei as the Chinese giant negotiates with the highest levels of British Government to have its equipment authorised for use in the country’s 5G networks.

IDC research manager Marta Pinto said: “It is sending a signal that Huawei has the best people with them. He is knowledgeable about the UK infrastructure and therefore probably the person for the job.

“It’s not just about establishing influence but also showing that Huawei can still hire the best people. I am sure Sir Michael has still got great connections from his past roles.”

PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore called the appointment of the ex-BT and CBI head a big coup for Huawei.

“It is all part of its huge charm offensive. He brings a wealth of experience, professionalism and credibility.

“This will prove invaluable in helping navigate Huawei through these challenging and uncertain times.

Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang has welcomed the move: “Sir Michael brings a wealth of relevant experience to our boardroom and I look forward to working with him as we enter the next phase of our partnership with Britain.

At Huawei Sir Michael will serve alongside other non-executive directors on the Huawei UK board, Lord Browne of Madingley, Sir Kenneth Olisa and Sir Andrew Cahn. The independent non-executive directors are responsible for reviewing the performance of Huawei in the

UK, providing counsel to the Huawei Management Team regarding the company’s operations in the UK.”

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