Arun Sudhaman 08 Jan 2012 // 12:00AM GMT
SHENZHEN, CHINA--Huawei has significantly boosted its in-house comms capability, as the Chinese MNC gears up for continued international expansion.
The telecommunications giant, often viewed as one of the few Chinese companies with realistic global ambitions, has added three new comms executives to senior roles across the globe.
Ross Gan, global head of corporate communications at Huawei, told the Holmes Report that the three appointments reflect Huawei's commitment to building a "strong global brand."
The company has hired Scott Sykes as VP of international media affairs, based in Huawei's global HQ in Shenzhen. Sykes joins from Alcatel-Lucent, and previously headed Weber Shandwick's Asia-Pacific tech practice. "In this role he spearheads Huawei’s media strategy for the Asia Pacific region," said Gan.
In addition, Huawei has added made two hires in Western markets. In the UK, the company has named ex-Prudential media relations head Ed Brewster as communications director. Prior to Prudential, Brewster led corporate comms at Three UK, and has also worked agency-side at Brunswick.
In France, meanwhile, Huawei has snapped up Philippe LeCorre as VP of public affairs and communications. LeCorre joins from Publicis Consultants, where he was a partner, and has previously served as a senior Adviser to the French Government.
Like many Chinese companies, Huawei's ambitious growth plans have attracted scrutiny in Western markets, particularly concerning its ownership. At the Holmes Report's ThinkTank Live Singapore conference last year, Gan attributed this scrutiny to "Sinophobia", but denied that the new hires were made with this issue in mind.
"As an open and transparent company, Huawei has a unique and compelling story to tell, and as we grow, people have become increasingly interested in learning about our company," said Gan. "Scott, Ed, and Philippe are joining a global team working to help communicate our story."
He added that Huawei's transformation had been aided by its relationships with "world-leading consultancy firms", and that an expansion of its in-house capabilities represented a "natural evolution."
"We recognize the importance of building a strong global brand and the addition of strong talent like Scott, Ed, and Philippe enables Huawei to better communicate with stakeholders in key markets around the world."