Huawei appoints UK’s ex chief IT officer
Huawei has hired John Suffolk, formerly the UK government’s chief IT officer, as its new global cyber security officer.
Suffolk has also previously worked for the World Bank high-level experts group, and as director general of the UK criminal justice transformation programme.
Industry commentators are speculating about the motives of this appointment after Huawei was accused of having ties with the Chinese military. Suffolk’s previous work as an advisor to top international and western governing bodies has led to suggestions that the appointment is a deliberate attempt to appeal to western markets where Huawei has previously been denied access.
Suffolk will be responsible for developing Huawei’s cyber security assurance strategy and system overseeing its management and deployment. As the UK’s chief IT officer, Suffolk was in charge of the development and implementation of the UK government’s transformational government strategies, its technology strategy and its information assurance strategy.
Suffolk will be reporting directly to the company’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, who was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army. This has created ongoing concerns in the US about the company’s affiliation with the Chinese army and the effect this could have to public security.