Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Zeekr has announced the appointment of Guan Haitao, former Marketing Director of Honor, Huawei’s smartphone unit. This decision highlights a growing trend among Chinese car manufacturers to recruit talent from the smartphone industry, indicating a shift towards software-defined electric vehicles (EVs) that resemble smartphones on wheels.
Guan Haitao has an impressive track record, having held positions in prominent companies such as Chinese dairy producer Yili and video game giant Tencent. He most recently served as Honor’s Marketing Director since late 2018. With his extensive marketing experience and knowledge, it is expected that Guan will lead Zeekr’s marketing efforts and support the brand’s growth in the competitive EV market.
Zeekr, an electric vehicle brand established by Geely, Volvo’s parent company, is only two years old but has already made significant strides in the industry. The brand aims to provide innovative and technologically advanced electric vehicles that meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers. This strategic appointment of Guan Haitao, along with the previous hiring of a former technology head from Huawei’s autonomous driving department, demonstrates Zeekr’s commitment to incorporating top talent to drive its success.
Furthermore, Zeekr is not the only automaker adopting this talent acquisition strategy. Li Auto, one of Zeekr’s competitors, recently appointed Zou Liangjun, a veteran from Huawei’s Honor division, as Senior Vice President. This trend reflects the growing convergence of the automotive and smartphone industries, as well as the importance of software development expertise and consumer marketing in the electric vehicle market.
It is important to note that Huawei divested its mobile phone unit to a consortium of agents and distributors in 2020 due to US sanctions. However, the company’s talent pool still possesses valuable experience and knowledge that Chinese car manufacturers recognize and seek to leverage in the electric vehicle sector.
Overall, the appointment of Guan Haitao as Zeekr’s new Chief Marketing Officer highlights the strategic importance of recruiting talent from the smartphone industry. As electric vehicles become more software-oriented, the expertise of individuals who understand technological trends and consumer behavior in the smartphone market will prove valuable in shaping the future of electric mobility.
– Victor Yang’s post on Weibo