Huawei has picked up a former Nokia executive as it expands its smartphone offerings.

huawei colin giles Huawei appoints former Nokia exec to VP role

Huawei has appointed former Nokia executive Colin Giles to be its new VP responsible for consumer sales and marketing.

Giles spent nearly 20 years with Nokia, stepping down in the spring of 2012 after the company posted another quarter of particularly bad financial results. The reasoning Giles gave when he stepped down was that he “wanted to spend more time with his family.”

Huawei has been pushing hard to join the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC as a middle to upper class smartphone maker as the recent announcement of the Ascend P6 shows. Huawei reports that in 2012 its Consumer Business Group had a year-on-year growth of 60%. The company ranked four that year in global smartphone shipments according to reports from various consultancies.

“Colin has achieved phenomenal success in his previous roles in the industry and has a wealth of experience in mobile brand marketing, device sales, and open channel development,” Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group said in a prepared statement.

All the while, Nokia is having a minor renaissance in China with its Lumia series of Windows based phones but is still struggling to develop a sustainable worldwide smartphone strategy. Perhaps Huawei’s hiring of Giles is to contain Nokia’s growth in the Middle Kingdom, or gain some inside intel as Huawei prepares a takeover bid.