Huawei bolsters UK Board with Lord Browne appointment

Huawei has appointed former BP chief executive Lord Browne as its first independent non-executive chairman of its UK division, in an attempt to dismiss the concerns over the company’s corporate governance.

Previously, Lord Browne had also served as the UK government’s lead non-executive adviser to the civil service. He is also the vice-chairman of Nomura International and a partner of a private equity group named Riverstone Holdings.

Apart from Lord Browne, Huawei has also recruited Dame Helen Alexander and Sir Andrew Cahn as independent non-executive directors of the company’s UK subsidiary.

The newly appointed directors have been assigned the task to review the performance of Huawei in the UK, where 70% of the recruitment is done locally.

The directors will also have to provide counsel to the UK Management Team.

The appointment came after Huawei’s operations and ownership structure came under scrutiny, when the US Congressional report in 2012 accused the company of having links with the Chinese government, reported the Financial Times.

Previously, Huawei had unveiled plans of doubling its workforce to 1000 employees in three years and announced an investment of £1.3bn.

Huawei already supplies network infrastructure to British telecom giant BT and several other mobile phone network providers in the country.

Lord Browne said: "It is an honour to serve as the first independent Chairman of Huawei’s Board in the UK."

"In a short period of time, Huawei has become a global leader in technology and one of mainland China’s largest investors in the UK."

"I have worked in China and with Chinese businesses for the past 40 years, and continue to be impressed by the corporate sector’s ambition and potential. I am delighted to be leading this Board as it supports Huawei’s next phase of growth."

Huawei had an advisory body headed by Sir Andrew Cahn which did not have any legal responsibility. However, the advisory board was dissolved in 2014.

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