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Huawei's Memory LapseHuawei's Memory Lapse

Vendor has selective memory over new exec's past

November 10, 2006

2 Min Read
Huawei's Memory Lapse

9:30 AM -- The media relations team at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. appears to have suffered an extraordinary memory lapse in announcing the appointment of John Frieslaar as a senior consultant to vendor's CTO Office in Europe.

Huawei's press release notes that Frieslaar, who is what we Brits call "a very nice chap," has a wealth of experience gained during the past 26 years, including stints at Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Madge Ltd. , and Huawei's archrival, ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

Most recently, Frieslaar was Head of Network Platform Engineering at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), where he was working on the carrier's 21CN next-generation network project.

Edward Chen, Huawei UK's managing director, is quoted in the release as saying, "We are delighted to have Frieslaar on board. His appointment is a sign of our commitment to hiring employees with the breadth of experience needed to best serve our customers."

What Chen should have said, though, is that he is delighted to have Frieslaar back on board.

That's because Frieslaar joined BT in late 2005 from… Huawei. As the vendor's U.K. CTO, he helped it land a coveted role as a lead vendor partner in BT's 21CN project.

Frieslaar was even quoted in Huawei's press release in April 2005 announcing the BT deal. (See Huawei Picked for BT's 21CN.)

All of which raises two questions: Why not mention his previous role at Huawei? And why did he leave BT so quickly?

While we're waiting for a response from Huawei on both questions, a former colleague of Frieslaar's provides some guidance on his relatively short time at BT.

"He was bored," says our source.

Fair enough…

— Ray Le Maistre, Headhunting Editor, Light Reading

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