ZTE has overhauled several top management positions, effective immediately, as they seek to mend bad blood with the US Department of Commerce over Iran trade sanction violations.

Former CTO Zhao Xianming will take over as CEO, a position previously held by Shi Lirong, who took up the post in 2010. Mr Zhao will also replace founder Hou Weigui as the company’s chairman. Two executive vice chairmen, Qiu Weizhao and Tian Wenguo, will also step down after failing to be reelected among seven new roles. Former CEO Shi Lirong will remain on the board though he will no longer involved in ZTE management.

ZTE, which sells telecommunications equipment as well as smartphones, was blacklisted but the US Commerce Department last month after  documents from 2011 showed company was forward selling US-made components to Iran through at least one shelf company.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com