Edward Tian, the vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of China Netcom Group (Hong Kong), will resign his post as chief executive, the company announced Tuesday.
The resignation comes amid reports the company plans to sell its Asia Netcom subsidiary, a regional telecommunications cable operator.
Tian’s resignation, which had been widely anticipated, took effect on Wednesday. He will continue to serve as vice chairman of the company, which is the Hong Kong-listed arm of China’s second-largest fixed-line operator. Zuo Xunsheng, China Netcom’s chief operating officer, will replace Tian as CEO.
After stepping down as CEO of China Netcom, Tian is expected to go into venture capital. “There has been talk in the industry about him starting a fund with the backing of News Corp.,” said David Wolf, chief executive officer of Wolf Group Asia, a Beijing-based technology consulting firm.
“News Corp. is also quite clearly re-evaluating its strategy in China, and may well be looking to duplicate in China some of the Internet investments that it has made recently in the U.S.,” Wolf said.
Tian’s departure from China Netcom was not linked to reports that the company is in talks to sell Asia Netcom. China Netcom is holding talks with several companies about a deal, the official China Daily newspaper reported Tuesday, quoting China Netcom’s chairman, Zhang Chunjiang.
A China Netcom spokeswoman in Beijing was not immediately available to comment.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service
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