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Huawei Appoint New Oz Cyber Security Officer

Huawei Australia has announced its current Chief Technology Officer David Soldani will also take charge of cyber security.

Dr Soldani joined the company in March last year.

He previously spent time in Europe working for a range of global vendors, including Nokia, where he was head of 5G.

Huawei Australia’s soon to be former Cyber Security Officer Malcolm Shore is retiring.

In a statement announcing the appointment Huawei thanked him for his contribution in the two years since he joined the company in June 2017.

Huawei Australia chairman John Lord said Mr Shore had a “remarkable career” and that the company was looking forward to Dr Soldani taking on the role to help “deliver our innovative technology in a safe and secure manner by working with our partners and governments.”

Dr Soldani said his expanded role was “a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate that our technology can be delivered in a secure environment”.

“Huawei has a fifteen year operating history here in Australia with no major Cyber Security breaches and I look forward to helping to maintaining that record in my expanded role,” Dr Soldani said.

Dr Soldani recently courted headlines when he slammed NBN Co as a failure.

He also said NBN equipment supplier Ericsson had been “escaping scrutiny for mishandling the deployment” of NBN fixed wireless, and criticised the government for giving the company a bigger role by banning Huawei from the rollout of 5G.

Australia was the first company to ban Huawei from its 5G network rollout in August last year, sparking a wave of similar bans from a number of countries, most notably the United States.

The US put Huawei and 68 other affiliate companies on a blacklist earlier this year citing threats to national security, in what was thought to be a potentially crippling move for the company.

Instead, the company has reported its revenue grew around 30 per cent in the first half of the year, according to a Bloomberg report citing “people familiar with the matter”.

The growth is a slowdown compared to the first three months of the year when revenue reportedly grew 39 per cent, but still represents a significant increase compared to last year.

Executives reportedly told staff they were relieved it hadn’t been worse.

The company is reportedly awarding staff who helped avert a crisis by hoarding components ahead of the ban, identifying replacements or negotiating with suppliers to keep up the flow of materials.

The revenue growth doesn’t mean Huawei is out of the woods yet, and although recent reprieves from the US have eased restrictions on its licensing and supply arrangements, there is still much skepticism surrounding the brand.

Recent reports about the company’s ties with the Chinese military and revelations it helped North Korea build its commercial wireless network are unlikely to do Huawei any favours when it comes to issues of national security in Australia and around the world.

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