John Brumby will step down from the Board of Huawei Australia after eight years of service, effective 1 March 2019.

The firm noted Brumby was one of the original independent directors appointed to the Board of Huawei Australia, the first local board established by the company in 2011.

Brumby, who was Labor Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010 and also served as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, said he had particularly enjoyed being part of a global company “leading the world in innovation and technology advancement.”

“Today, we have a large, diverse and multicultural workforce which is fully committed to the company’s future in Australia,” he added.  “Huawei’s Australian business has grown strongly over the last 8 years with employee numbers doubling during my time on the Board from 300 to around 700.”

“Since we established the board in 2011, our revenue has increased from $229 million to $623 million in 2017, a cumulative annual growth rate of 18% per annum,” said Brumby, looking back over his time with the Shenzhen-based company.

“While we have had some challenging times over the years, Huawei Australia has continued to go from strength to strength, becoming Australia’s largest provider of wireless technology and serving more than half the Australian population,” he said. “Our world leading equipment has supported Optus and Vodafone to drive improvements in service performance and reduced costs for Australian businesses and consumers.”

“The timing of my retirement from the Board is completely unrelated to any recent commentary regarding China and Huawei,” emphasised Brumby who also served on the firm’s Risk & Compliance committee.

“More than a year ago, I advised the Board and Huawei HQ of my intention to retire to make time for new commitments I was taking on in early 2019. I remain a strong supporter of closer ties between Australia and China, particularly in the fields of investment, trade, education and R&D,” he said.

“Finally, in addition to helping build a more innovative, connected and competitive Australia, I am proud of the significant contribution Huawei has made to cancer research, sporting development, Indigenous education and children’s health,” said Brumby.

“John was instrumental in establishing the processes and operation of Huawei’s first ever
local Board. He brought to the role a deep understanding of management processes and public policy in Australia,” said Huawei Australian Chairman John Lord.

“John stayed on the Board longer than he first intended and we wish him all the best for the future, especially with his upcoming role as Chancellor of La Trobe University.” said Lord.

Huawei has started the process to fill the Board vacancy.