Ryan Ding Yun, a Huawei Technologies Co veteran who was at the helm of the Chinese company’s most profitable business, died at age 53 in the wee hours of Friday from a sudden illness, the Shenzhen-based firm announced.
Ding, born in 1969 and holding a master’s degree from Southeast University in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, joined Huawei in 1996, rising through the ranks to become president at various departments, including global solution sales and global marketing.
In January, Ding was promoted to president of the enterprise business group, while also serving as president of the carrier business group, putting him in command of two of Huawei’s three major businesses. The carrier business group was the company’s top earner last year, generating more than 281.4 billion yuan (US$39.5 billion) – roughly 44 per cent of the total revenue.
Ding also served as deputy chairman of Huawei’s supervisory board.
In an obituary, Huawei credited Ding for having “worked diligently at Huawei for 26 years and made significant contributions to the company’s growth and development”. It asked its employees to focus on work and “turn grief into strength”.
While Huawei did not divulge the cause of Ding’s death, local media reports said he died of heart arrest after taking part in a 28km marathon. Ding was an enthusiastic long-distance runner who spent almost all of his free time running, according to anonymous sources cited by one report.
Ding led Huawei’s enterprise and carrier business groups at a time when US sanctions have effectively crippled the company’s consumer business, pushing the once-leading smartphone seller to boost other revenue sources.
Ding’s last public appearance was in September at Huawei Connect 2022, an annual event in which the company announces new products and solutions. There, he delivered a live-streamed speech demonstrating Huawei’s role in driving innovation and showcasing bespoke client solutions. South China Morning Post