Colin Giles was critical to Nokia's growth during its golden era, jumped ship during slide

Colin Giles (not to be confused with the identically named DJ) was a rising star for some time at Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V), which he joined in 1992.  Spearheaded efforts to establish sales strongholds in China, South Korea, and Japan, he helped Nokia become the top seller of the new "smartphone" form factor, circa-2007.  He was rewarded first as president of Nokia China in 2006, then with a position as client and market management senior vice president (SVP) in 2007.

But amid a rocky transition to Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone, replete with dire financials and drooping sales, Mr. Giles announced his resignation last April, with his official intent set on "[being] closer to [his] family" back in Australia.  He officially left the company on June 30, 2012, ending a 20-year campaign with the Finnish firm.

But a little over a year later and Mr. Giles has a new home -- China's largest domestic smartphone sellerHuawei Technologies Comp. (SHE:002502).  Huawei announced Mr. Giles was named a SVP at the Huawei Group on Monday.

The Chinese connection is not surprising for Mr. Giles, given that he's a Pacific Rim native who speaks fluent Mandarin.  While China isn't exactly next-door, it's closer to his native Australia than Finland, and it's the place where he's spent most of his career.

Colin Giles
Mr. Giles, holding an Ascend P6 [Image Source: Huawei]

It sounds like Mr. Giles should play a key role in the London launch of Huawei's flagship Ascend P6 smartphone, which is only 10 days away.

In a press release he states, "I am delighted to join Huawei at such an exciting time in the development of Huawei’s consumer brand.  Over the last couple of years, the company has already made big strides in the global marketplace with the introduction of flagship products that quickly became the talk of the town, like the world’s slimmest smartphone Ascend P6 launched just weeks ago. I look forward to working closely with everyone in the Consumer Business Group to continue to 'Make it Possible' for smartphone users worldwide."

Huawei saw sales growth of 60 percent in 2012, including shipments of 32m smartphones.  However, much of those smartphone sales were in China.  Despite security concerns, Huawei is eyeing a global market push to compete with top global smartphone superpowers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL).

Thus after departing a rebuilding company, he returns to a position similar to the one he was in during the middle of the last decade -- saddling up with a fast-growing foreign phonemaker.

Source: Huawei

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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