ZTE has dumped its president of six years, Yin Yimin, and replaced him with senior vice president Shi Lirong.
Chairman Hou Weigui said after the board decision to replace 47-year-old Yin that he had been under “heavy” work pressure.
Shi Lirong, 46, an engineer and graduate of the prestigious Tsinghua University, has headed ZTE’s successful global sales team since 2007.
Yin’s future role at ZTE is unclear. He will remain at the company and will keep his board seat, but his name was not on the list of senior executives approved by directorsin Shenzhen yesterday.
“President Yin has already worked [as president] for six years. He himself feels the pressure is very heavy,” Hou said in an interview with 21st Century Business Herald. “Of course, he remains on the board of directors. Our company strategy is that the senior management level must be relatively stable.”
While ZTE’s performance has been overshadowed by the exponential growth of cross-town rival Huawei, it has steadily increased profit in the past three years from 1.3 billion yuan ($190m), 1.7 billion yuan in 2007 and 2008 respectively to a forecast 2.5 billion yuan for 2009.