BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc <1810.HK> said on Friday it will rejig its businesses and create new leadership positions aimed at building a second tier to CEO Lei Jun, amid increased scrutiny of governance and successions at Chinese tech firms.
The firm would introduce two new departments to advise Lei on strategy and oversee hiring, promotion and pay, Lei said in a memo to staff dated Sept. 13 and shared with the press on Friday.
It also would reshuffle its four main business units into 10 to promote younger managers, Lei said, adding that a majority of the newly-appointed leadership belonged to the post-1980s generation.
“Our senior management team has implemented several changes that will … provide opportunities for young talent to rise up the ranks,” said Lei, 48.
The changes come less than a week after Jack Ma, one of China’s best-known businessmen, said he would step down as chairman of Alibaba <BABA.N> in a year and hand the reins to CEO Daniel Zheng, and underlined the need for sustainable succession planning.
Another Chinese tech giant, JD.com Inc <JD.O>, has come under scrutiny recently after CEO Richard Liu – who controls 80 percent of the company’s voting rights – was arrested in the United States on suspicion of rape before being released. JD’s board is essentially unable to make decisions without Liu present, according to company rules.
Liu, through his lawyers has denied any wrongdoing, as the investigation is ongoing.
Xiaomi listed its shares in Hong Kong in June in an initial public offering that valued the company at around $52 billion (40 billion pounds).
The company underwent a strategic shift in 2016 after sales fell sharply, forcing it to pull out of several overseas markets. It has since focused on offline sales and reversed its fortunes, and currently draws roughly a third of its revenue from outside China.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Stephen Coates)