WSJ: Chinese ZTE "aggressively poaching talent" from the likes of BlackBerry and Motorola
Chinese ZTE -- the parent company behind the trending Nubia brand -- is "aggressively poaching talent" from BlackBerry and Motorola, reports the Wall Street Journal. So far, fewer than 20 people have been recruited, but apparently the company is intent on continuing its effort, and even has a special division within its HR department that will see to it. According to the report, this move is a part of ZTE's expansion efforts.
While such hires would have been difficult in the past, with both BlackBerry and Motorola in a financial twist, now seems like the perfect opportunity for ZTE to get some proven talent on its roster. "We hope the talent from BlackBerry can enhance our product security and design capability", said Adam Zeng, head of ZTE's mobile devices division. Recently, his company managed to recruit Cao Tang, a former Motorola Mobility handset marketing exec. What's more, it appears the company has put an emphasis on able-bodied talent with international background, in order to help it expand in North America, where it already sells devices like the Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini.
All of this makes a whole lot of sense -- while ZTE is mostly known for its network equipment arm, which is the source of over half of its revenue, some 30% of that pie are attributed to the company's handset business. And that business is flailing, according to recent sales figures from China, where the company went from an 8% market share down to 5%. Indeed, competition from rising star Xiaomi and incumbent Lenovo (which is about to swallow Motorola whole) appears to be a tad too much for ZTE, whose products suffer from weak brand recognition and "unattractive design" according to analysts. If ZTE plays its cards right, however, this may very well change in the coming few years, and it seems that's what the company is shooting for. As always, time will tell.