Mathieu Lehanneur


“My new Huawei position goes goes back more than two years now. [Ren Zhengfei, the president of Huawei Technologies] came to Paris to meet me. After that, I went to Shenzhen, China. For me, it was a very good surprise. Huawei is a kind of brain that takes time to go fast. The first time I came to Shenzhen was just to visit the headquarters of Huawei. They showed me the campus with a lot of buildings on it, and I asked in a very naïve way, “What are all those buildings?” They told me, “Houses.” Frankly, I didn’t expect that Huawei was as huge as I saw it at this time. Today, they are among the top in terms of sales of smartphones. They are a very powerful group, but very young in terms of products. The history and the previous core business of Huawei were more dedicated to networks. They were interested not just in users, but also in big operators, big cities, and big countries. They were very strong, but invisible for the user. My very first impression was that they are quite open to learning from a designer like me. They asked me to join them as a chief designer, just to help to build the brand in terms of identity, communication, and currency between devices. In today’s digital and device world, if you want to be strong enough to build something, you have to join a big company. I’m working with Huawei and at my own studio at the same time. My challenge with Huawei is to work in a totally different way, to be totally included in the big machine.” —As told to Roxy Kirshenbaum



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