John Roese will lead the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s technology efforts, it announced Tuesday

Ex-Nortel CTO to Huawei North America R&D post
SAN FRANCISCO — Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has named former Nortel Networks chief technology officer John Roese to lead its North American research and development efforts.

As senior vice-president and general manager here, Roese will lead the China-based company’s research centers in North America, including those in Santa Clara, Calif., and Ottawa. He will be based at the Santa Clara facility. Roese will be the first executive dedicated exclusively to overseeing R&D in the region.

Huawei has become one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunication and networking gear, partly through successful engagements in developing countries, but has met with some opposition in attempts to capture big carrier contracts in the U.S. Earlier this year, the company was rejected for a major wireless network deal with Sprint Nextel because of national security concerns about relying on a Chinese supplier for critical infrastructure, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The appointment of Roese, who is a veteran of Broadcom, Enterasys and Cabletron as well as Nortel, signals that the company remains dedicated to North America. Huawei got its foot in the door in Canada by becoming a wireless equipment supplier to Telus Corp. for its new HSPA network. Like other equipment makers, it is expected to be a vigorous bidder for the new wireless networks about to be constructed by Calgary-based Shaw Communications Inc. and Halifax-based Eastlink Communications.

 
In addition to running Nortel’s R&D operations, Roese worked with that company’s leadership on pursuing new market opportunities and forming strategic partnerships, according to a Huawei press release. Roese joined Nortel as CTO in 2006 and left in January 2009 amid a restructuring at the troubled company, which has since been split up and sold off.

Huawei said it has 17 research sites around the world and employs more than 43,600 employees in R&D. The company filed for 6,770 patents in 2009 and has filed a total of 42,543 patents overall, Huawei said.

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