Chinese EV Maker Zeekr Hires Former Huawei Executive as Head of Marketing

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Zeekr has announced the appointment of Guan Haitao, the ex-Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Huawei’s smartphone brand Honor, as its new head of marketing. This strategic move by Zeekr reflects a growing trend among Chinese car manufacturers to recruit talent from smartphone companies.

As more consumers embrace software-defined EVs that resemble smartphones on wheels, car manufacturers are seeking individuals with expertise in marketing and understanding consumer behavior in the smartphone industry.

Guan Haitao brings extensive experience to his new role at Zeekr. Prior to his tenure at Huawei, Guan held positions at prominent Chinese companies such as dairy producer Yili and gaming giant Tencent. He most recently served as CMO at Honor, a budget smartphone brand under the Huawei umbrella, for over two years.

Zeekr, an EV brand established two years ago by Geely, the parent company of Volvo, had previously employed Chen Qi, a former tech lead in Huawei’s self-driving department. This further highlights the trend of Chinese car manufacturers tapping into the talent pool of smartphone companies to strengthen their EV divisions.

In a similar move, Li Auto, a competitor of Zeekr, announced in April that it had appointed Zou Liangjun, a veteran of Honor, as a senior vice president. It is noteworthy that Huawei sold its handset unit to a consortium of agents and dealers in late 2020, following the imposition of US sanctions.

This hiring trend underscores the overlap and synergy between the smartphone and automotive industries. By leveraging the expertise of individuals who have worked in both sectors, EV manufacturers aim to enhance their marketing strategies and develop EVs that align with the preferences and expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumers.

– Victor Yang’s post on Weibo
– Original article