Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi Corp (小米) yesterday said it has hired former MediaTek Inc (聯發科) co-chief operating officer (COO) Jeffrey Ju (朱尚祖) as a partner in its investment department, ending months-long speculation about Ju’s next move.
Ju in July resigned as head of MediaTek’s mobile phone chip business after the firm tapped Rick Tsai (蔡力行) as its new co-CEO to help regain lost market share.
Ju was granted the position of senior consultant for MediaTek after stepping down as co-COO.
Speculation had emerged that Ju might go to work for Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀移動), a client of MediaTek.
Xiaomi is one of MediaTek’s many clients in China, but is now developing its own mobile processors in a bid to differentiate itself from other brands.
“With 20 years of experience in consumer electronics and wireless communications... Ju’s strong leadership and broad connections will help Xiaomi achieve greater success in investing in different industries,” Xiaomi founder Lei Jun (雷軍) said on the QQ messaging app.
Ju, who joined MediaTek in 1999, helped set up its smartphone chip department in 2010, Lei said, adding that under his leadership, the department has expanded to generate yearly revenue of US$4 billion.
His efforts greatly helped MediaTek become the world’s second-largest smartphone chip supplier, Lei said.
Xiaomi has invested in about 200 companies in areas ranging from “smart” hardware and Internet of Things applications to financial technology, the Beijing-based company said.
In May, Xiaomi signed an agreement with Hubei Yangtze River Belt Industrial Fund (湖北省長江產業基金) to jointly raise 12 billion yuan (US$1.81 billion), with an aim to invest in advanced manufacturing, new materials and cutting-edge technologies.
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