William Xu began his career with Huawei in the Research and Development (R&D) division, working on the first generation of Huawei's public program controlled switches. From that start, he took on steadily increasing responsibilities within the company – including head of R&D and President of the International Technical Sales & Marketing Department – before landing his current role.
Xu wants younger marketers to learn from his career path. “Every time I have taken on a new role, it was a challenge…For young people who are just starting out, there really are no shortcuts. Every success is the result of long-term, focused work.”
Time will tell whether that hard work can help Xu navigate Huawei’s recent string of crises. The company’s CFO has been under house arrest in Canada, pending a requested extradition to the US. More recently, the US president issued an executive order banning US tech companies from doing business with Huawei – a decision that has cost the company access to Google’s Android platform. Xu has used his media presence to showcase Huawei’s history of university and research partnerships, even as some universities have cut ties in the face of the ban.