After a busy week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei Australia has announced the appointment of a new CEO for the local business, bringing on James Zhao to take the role following the departure of outgoing CEO Guo Fulin.

Zhao takes on the top job at the local subsidiary following a globetrotting career with the company — he joined Huawei as a radio engineer in 2000 before working as a sales manager in the Chinese market. He has since worked as MD and chief operating officer of Huawei Indonesia (where he oversaw sales growth of more than $1 billion in 7 years) and as global account director for the New Delhi-based telecommunications company Bharti Airtel.

According to a statement from Huawei, the appointment of a Zhao and the promotion of Guo Fulin to “a regional role within Huawei” is in line with the company’s “global practice of rotating senior executives through different markets to help them gain a breadth of management experience”.

Speaking about his appointment, Zhao was upbeat about the role the Australian market plays as part of the global Huawei brand.

It is a great privilege to take on the CEO role in Australia, a market of great strategic focus for Huawei Technologies. Huawei Australia has been a trailblazer for Huawei globally as the first country with a local Board of Directors, and I look forward to working with the local Board as we continue to grow our presence in the Australian market.

Huawei Australia chairman John Lord was also positive about Zhao’s appointment:

Huawei’s corporate structure is a great example of ‘Western governance with Chinese characteristics’, and one of Huawei’s great strengths is the practice of rotating CEOs on fixed terms. This allows for innovative ideas to flourish and brings fresh global experience to each local office. The local Board also would like to pass on our best wishes to outgoing CEO Guo Fulin, who has seen Huawei Australia more than triple in size during his tenure.

For his part, Guo Fulin oversaw significant growth during his time at Huawei according to the company, with staff numbers more than trebling during his 5 years at the helm and local revenues climbing from $132 million to $368 million. The company now claims that “50 per cent of Australians are using a Huawei product for some part of their daily telecommunications needs”.

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In other Huawei news, the company launched a raft of new products at Mobile World Congress this week, including the colour range of Ascend G6 4G smartphones, the “world’s slimmest 7-inch LTE Category 4-enabled all-in-one phablet” known as the MediaPad X1, and the brand’s first wearable device, the TalkBand B1 which allows users to track their daily movements and make and receive calls through a Bluetooth connected earpiece.

Huawei also teamed up with Telstra to launch the “world’s first LTE Category 6-compatible mobile broadband device” for the Australian market. Available in the coming months, the Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced Pro X is billed as a “battery-powered mobile hotspot that can operate continuously for up to ten hours and share a 4G connection with up to ten devices making it possible to enjoy the performance benefits of 4G on existing Wi-Fi enabled tablets, laptops and smartphones”.

The announcement of the device comes as Telstra prepares to introduce new high-speed mobile coverage on the 700MHz spectrum in early 2015.

According to Telstra director of devices Andrew Volard:

The Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced Pro X will be one of our first devices that’s ready to take advantage of the superior reach and speeds that we’re aiming to deliver when we introduce 700MHz spectrum and team it with our existing 4G spectrum.

The investment in 700MHz coverage for 4G services is all about delivering more of what we know customers already love about our being connected to our network: better coverage, reliability and speed.

As an added bonus, the Advanced Pro X also allows users to “reverse charge” their smartphone by drawing on the device’s battery, and it features a screen that shows billing updates from Telstra so consumers can keep track of their data usage.

Huawei MediaPad X1
Huawei’s new MediaPad X1 phablet, launched at Mobile World Congress 2014.
Huawei TalkBand B1
Huawei’s first wearable, the TalkBand B1.