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Huawei CEO Warns ‘Mediocre Employees’ of Looming Pink Slips Amid Global Concerns

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei isn’t mincing words: he reportedly said in an email to his workers that “mediocre employees” will probably be laid off in the coming months as the company struggles with global distrust.

The warning to Huawei employees was first reported by The Financial Times; you can run up against the newspaper’s paywall right here. Business Insider excerpted some of the important bits for our reading pleasure:

“In the coming years, the overall situation will probably not be as bright as imagined, we have to prepare for times of hardship. […] We also need to give up some mediocre employees and lower labour expenses. […] Things went too smoothly for us in the last 30 years. We were in a phase of strategic expansion, our organisation expanded in a destructive way. We have to review carefully if all geographical subsidiaries are efficient. […] In order to achieve overall victory, we need to conduct some organisational streamlining.”

Zhengfei’s remarks aren’t without cause. His telecommunications company has been widely criticized over allegations that its equipment allows the Chinese government to conduct international spying. Other complaints abound, including allegations that Huawei was actively skirting U.S. sanctions on Iran by continuing to sell its products in the country.

The first issue has seen the U.S. government ban its agencies from purchasing Huawei-made smartphones, servers, and other equipment. Some politicians even wanted to go a step further by completely banning products from Huawei and other Chinese tech companies from the country; they compromised by disallowing their use by federal agencies.

The second issue hit Zhengfei a little closer to home when Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, his daughter, at the United States’ request. Hearing that a leading executive has been arrested is probably stressful enough; dealing with the personal trauma of that same person being a family member would most likely make things even worse.

Huawei’s problems aren’t restricted to the U.S. Australia banned the company’s equipment from its 5G networks, as did New Zealand, and Germany is reportedly thinking about doing the same. China went so far as to threaten Canada with “repercussions” if it follows the other countries; we suspect the threat won’t actually help Huawei’s case.

These problems are partly outside Huawei’s control. The company is at the will of the Chinese government, and with tensions rising between China and much of the West, it’s all but guaranteed to be affected by the conflict even if it were totally innocent. (Which, let’s be clear, it almost certainly isn’t.) This warning to “mediocre employees” probably isn’t going to be the last less-than-optimistic message Zhengfei has to write in the years ahead.

  • mihen
    Man that's awesome. So tired of US culture where people get by smoozing upper management.
    Reply
  • gdmaclew
    Translation: Our threats and intimidations to the rest of the world aren't working so we will have to lay off some of our "mediocre" spies....errrrr employees.
    Reply
  • brian2799
    21699137 said:
    Man that's awesome. So tired of US culture where people get by smoozing upper management.

    From a company that exemplifies nepotism?

    Reply
  • DalaiLamar
    21700300 said:
    21699137 said:
    Man that's awesome. So tired of US culture where people get by smoozing upper management.

    From a company that exemplifies nepotism?

    Why should it be if the employee is qualified?
    Reply
  • DalaiLamar
    21699647 said:
    Translation: Our threats and intimidations to the rest of the world aren't working so we will have to lay off some of our "mediocre" spies....errrrr employees.

    No one would have bought from them under threats.
    Reply
  • brian2799
    21700328 said:
    21700300 said:
    21699137 said:
    Man that's awesome. So tired of US culture where people get by smoozing upper management.

    From a company that exemplifies nepotism?

    Why should it be if the employee is qualified?

    So you don't find it strange that the CEO's family members are invested with important positions within the company and that there probably aren't others around more qualified to do those jobs? The implication I got was that those not well-connected and otherwise unremarkable would be looking for other work shortly, NOT the mediocre who have pull with the big wigs.

    Reply
  • mlee 2500
    21699137 said:
    Man that's awesome. So tired of US culture where people get by smoozing upper management.

    lol...who do you think they mean when they say "mediocre employees"?
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    It's about time these intellectual property/technology stealing companies start paying for all their theft. I hope they go bankrupt.
    Reply
  • tomfakemail
    I don't understand why people taking all these spying, technology theft accusations by politicians without any proof as a matter of fact. This is obvious political motivated and reminisce accusations of Japanese companies in th 80's when their industries were being threated. Yet, documented spying cases involve US tech companies like Cisco revealed by Edward Snowden didn't seems to bother people at all.
    Reply
  • gdmaclew
    21703082 said:
    I don't understand why people taking all these spying, technology theft accusations by politicians without any proof as a matter of fact. This is obvious political motivated and reminisce accusations of Japanese companies in th 80's when their industries were being threated. Yet, documented spying cases involve US tech companies like Cisco revealed by Edward Snowden didn't seems to bother people at all.

    But you wouldn't mind their bosses (Chinese Gov't) kidnapping two of your citizens because the US asked Canada to hold and extradite their CEO.

    Huawei is sooooooo squeaky clean!

    Reply