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Managed Services

Matt Bross Joins Huawei as CTO

Matt Bross, the charismatic former chief technology officer of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has joined Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. as global CTO, effective October 1. (See Matt Bross Joins Huawei.)

Bross left the U.K. incumbent a few months ago and moved back to the U.S. During his seven years at BT, Bross had plenty of opportunity to get to know Huawei well, as the Chinese company was one of the main vendor partners chosen by Bross and his team for BT's 21CN next-generation network program. (See Bross Quits as BT's CTO and BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers.)

Huawei says Bross will "focus on identifying global telecommunications industry and network architecture trends" that will guide the vendor's R&D efforts. And, importantly, he will "also support the company’s efforts in delivering the latest products and solutions for North American customers."

That's a critical part of Huawei's expansion strategy, for, despite ongoing and determined efforts, it has yet to break into the major carrier accounts in the U.S. with its broad range of access, IP, mobile, and optical platforms. (See Huawei Takes On US Set-Top Market, Huawei Steps Up in North America, Cox, Huawei Make Wireless Connection , Huawei Gains Optical Ground in North America, and Huawei Names Cable CTO.)

The news took industry watchers by surprise. "Bloody hell! That's an interesting appointment," said Heavy Reading chief analyst Graham Finnie.

"He can certainly help Huawei in North America, where they haven't made many inroads yet. And he's a high-profile figure who can help Huawei present themselves as not just another Chinese company. He might also be able to help them make their move into professional services, which is something all the major vendors are trying to do." (See Huawei Plays Managed Service Catchup and Huawei: Everyone Believes in Us.)

Certainly Huawei is keen to capitalize on its new CTO's stature. "Matt Bross is a communications technology visionary with a wealth of industry experience," stated Huawei executive vice president Ken Hu in a prepared statement. "He is also a business leader with a strong spirit of innovation and will help Huawei better understand customer requirements."

Bross is equally magnanimous about his new employer: "I am honored to join a dynamic company such as Huawei. The company’s solutions, developed through customer-centric innovation, have won wide recognition among the world’s top operators. I look forward to working closely with Huawei’s technology and management teams in developing a world-leading solutions portfolio that fully meet [sic] customer requirements."

Details of Bross's contract are not available, as Huawei is still a private company. The company tells Light Reading that Bross will report "directly to the CEO as part of the senior management team."

Huawei is already one of the largest telecom equipment companies in the world, and is on course to strike deals worth $30 billion this year. (See BBWF: Huawei's Big Year and Huawei Closes In on Rivals.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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