Light Reading

Huawei's Ren: Cisco's Chambers Sought Succession Advice

Ray Le Maistre

As part of the process to identify his successor, Cisco CEO John Chambers sought the advice of his friend and business rival Ren Zhengfei, according to the Huawei founder.

Light Reading contributing editor Robert Clark notes in a new blog that during a recent interaction with the Chinese media, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. founder Ren claimed that Chambers had sought his opinion about who should take over as chief executive at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Is Cisco's Chambers Retiring in the Fall?)

Well, if you can't turn to your friends for advice, who can you turn to?

That's the sort of anecdote, though, that might give some Cisco supporters the heebie-jeebies, given Huawei's pariah status in the US. (See US vs Huawei/ZTE: The Verdict and China Lashes Out at 'Cold War Mentality'.)

And it's not the only namecheck Huawei has given Cisco recently. At the Chinese vendor's 4th ICT Finance Forum in New York last week, Huawei's CFO Cathy Meng praised Cisco's contribution to the digital world:

    IBM's computers brought standardization and compatibility, Microsoft's Windows operating system made those computers easy to use, and Cisco's IP technologies have changed the way people perceive digital transmission and IP technology. For our part, I believe the deployment of Huawei's network equipment has helped to accelerate the process of building the network society, ushering in the Internet era and opening a window into an amazing new world.

(See Huawei CFO: Ensuring Secure, Stable Network Operations is Huawei's Highest Priority.)

For more on Ren's friendly engagements with Chambers, and the Huawei founder's views on his own succession, the possibility of an IPO, and the resignation of handsets marketing chief Colin Giles, see Clark's blog, Ren Zhengfei on finding a successor, going public and US vs China.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/27/2014 | 2:33:00 PM
Re: Bedfellows
Given Cisco and Huawei's rivalry, it's hard to see Chambers turning to Huawei for advice. And it's also hard to see a partnership in the two companies' future. 

Still, stranger things have happened. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 11:32:07 AM
Are you implying that some sort of partnership between Huawei and Cisco may be in the works?
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