Huawei External Affairs Chief Leaves Company Amid US Scrutiny

Huawei USA Vice President of External Affairs William Plummer has left the Chinese company after nearly eight years, the long-time executive confirmed in a statement to AndroidHeadlines. The development comes shortly after one tipster on Twitter claimed the former lobbyist has been laid off by Huawei’s Washington D.C. office but Mr. Plummer hasn’t clarified on the circumstances that led to his departure. The chances of his Huawei exit being a result of a firing instead of a planned resignation appear larger in the context of his current situation, with Mr. Plummer’s LinkedIn profile revealing he’s now looking for a new position in “senior strategic communications, public affairs, government relations or marketing.”

The former lobbyist and Nokia executive of twelve years has been with Huawei since July of 2010, having been one of the Shenzhen-based company’s main faces in the United States and the person who often ended up carrying the burden of defending the firm against persistent spying allegations that surfaced yet again earlier this year. Mr. Plummer’s departure is possibly related to more widespread layoffs that Huawei is presently conducting “across the board,” as one person familiar with the matter told AndroidHeadlines last week, speculating that job cuts are directly related to the OEM’s issues with U.S. lawmakers and regulators, as well as the fact that Best Buy reportedly cut its ties with the firm and won’t be restocking its Huawei-made inventory once its existing supplies run out.

Mr. Plummer has most recently been defending Huawei in February when he once again dismissed Washington’s allegations that the company poses a national security threat to the United States, having claimed its solutions are connecting a third of the world’s population and are trusted by some 170 governments across the planet. Huawei was planning on launching its Mate 10 series in the U.S. through AT&T in January but the wireless carrier is said to have dropped the planned partnership shortly before the thereof was meant to be announced at Las Vegas-based CES following pressure from stateside regulators. The company is presently also being targeted by two bills —
H.R.4747 and S.2391 — introduced by the U.S. House and Senate in January and February, respectively, with both seeking to prevent government agencies from purchasing its equipment and software, as well as offerings from any other entity suspected to be under the influence of Beijing.

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