(Yicai Global) Jan. 17 -- China Mobile, the nation's biggest telecoms operator, and competitor China Telecom are to exchange top executives, insiders told Yicai Global.
Former China Mobile Vice President Li Zhengmao will now be executive director of China Telecom, while former Deputy Executive Director Gao Tongqing of China Telecom will transfer to the same role at China Mobile.
Senior executive changes between the Beijing-based companies is not unusual since the country's telecoms sector is dominated by just three state-owned players: China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. Last year, China Telecom's former chairman, Yang Jie, jumped ship to head up China Mobile.
Rumor has it that Gao is expected to be headed for promotion to executive director as the position has been vacant since September when Li Yue retired. Li Zhengmao is taking the role vacated by Ke Ruiwen last April, when Ke was promoted to chairman.
Both men are highly qualified. Li has a PhD in engineering and was an executive at China Unicom before becoming vice president of China Mobile. Gao holds a PhD in business administration from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was an executive at a regional branch of China Telecom for many years before being tapped as deputy executive director.
China Mobile's shares [HKG:0941] rose 0.3 percent today to end the week at HKD66.20 (USD8.52), while China Telecom [HKG:0728] fell 0.3 percent to HKD3.20. The benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent.
Editor: Kim Taylor