* Changes to be made public in stock exchange filing
* Spokesman unable to confirm which executives involved
* CEO, executive vice-presidents to step down - WSJ (Adds ZTE context, spokesman comment)
HONG KONG, April 4 (Reuters) - Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker ZTE Corp will announce a new management team on Tuesday, a spokesman said.
ZTE’s board of directors will meet to approve the new team, and changes will be made public in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday afternoon or evening, ZTE spokesman David Dai Shu told Reuters, speaking by telephone on Monday. Dai said ZTE reshuffles management every three years, and the forthcoming changes are in line with the company’s regular schedule.
ZTE has found itself subject to some of the toughest-ever U.S. government export restrictions for allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran in 2012. Last month, the U.S. government said it would ease those restrictions until the end of June and could further ease them if ZTE cooperated in “resolving the matter”.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Saturday that ZTE was lining up management changes.
The paper said Chief Executive Shi Lirong and Executive Vice Presidents Tian Wenguo and Qiu Weizhao are expected to step down, with Chief Technology Officer Zhao Xianming to take over as CEO and chairman. The WSJ said that part of ZTE’s agreed cooperation with the U.S. government involved replacing executives involved with the alleged Iran sanctions breach.
ZTE spokesman Dai said he could not confirm which executives would be involved in the management changes to be announced on Tuesday, and could not comment on whether the upcoming changes were related to the alleged Iran sanctions breach in any way. “I cannot speculate on this type of discussion,” he said. “I am not in a position to comment.”
The company is also expected to publish its annual results for 2015 on April 7. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)