Huawei Chip Pioneer Xu Wenwei Announces Retirement After 33 Years

Xu Wenwei, a highly respected figure within Huawei and considered the "founder" of Huawei chips, recently announced his retirement through a WeChat post. Xu, who joined Huawei in 1991,  witnessed the company's growth into a technological giant over his 33-year tenure.

Born in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province in 1963, Xu graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University) and later earned a master's degree from the same institution.

Xu's contributions to Huawei are substantial. He played a pivotal role in developing the company's first-generation office program-controlled switches, designed their very first chip, and even established the device lab, which eventually became HiSilicon, Huawei's in-house chip design arm. Throughout his career at Huawei, Xu held various leadership positions, including responsibility for chips, overall technology, strategic planning, and the presidency of the pre-research department.

Within Huawei, Xu was known as "Big Mr. Xu" (a title distinguishing him from Xu Zhijun, the company's vice chairman).  His leadership spearheaded the development of landmark products like the C&C08 digital program-controlled switch, the first ASIC chip, the first GSM system, and the first cloud data center core switch.

In 2004, a significant turning point arrived when Huawei's integrated circuit design center became independent, forming HiSilicon. Xu, who was then president of Huawei Europe, concurrently assumed the presidency of the newly established HiSilicon. Notably, during his tenure as founding president, Xu made the strategic decision to manufacture 3G data card chips, a move that would prove highly consequential.

Xu's career at Huawei reflects his diverse expertise. Over the years, he held positions like President of International Product Sales and Marketing, President of the Europe Region, President of Strategy and Marketing, President of Sales and Service, and CEO of the Enterprise Business Group. He also served as Director of Corporate Strategy Marketing and IRB (Product Investment Review Committee) Director.

While reports indicate that Xu was twice nominated for the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2021 and 2023, he ultimately wasn't elected.  Last year, he stepped down from his various roles at Huawei, including director of Huawei, director, and general manager of Huawei HiSilicon.

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