Smartphone maker Xiaomi is going through a staff reshuffle just as the company is preparing what some believe will be the biggest IPO in 2018, TechNode’s Chinese sister site reports. Two out of eight of Xiaomi’s co-founders have left the company, according to an internal letter sent by the company’s CEO Lei Jun published yesterday, April 27.
The letter revealed that Zhou Guangping and Huang Jiangji have resigned from their position. It also announced that the CFO of the company, Chew Shou Zi, will be appointed as Senior Vice President.
Jun wrote that the two co-founders chose a new way of life for personal reasons and decided to resign from their duties in the company. However, there are media reports that the two co-founders were only part of the company virtually and that their functions have long been on the shelve.
There has been much speculation about the timing and the size of the company’s IPO with the last prognostics setting the number at $100 billion. According to the latest news, Xiaomi is considering a dual listing both in Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Read more: Inside Xiaomi’s everything store
Xiaomi is also eager to redefine itself as a service provider before the IPO. The company has promised to cap income from its hardware business at 5 percent of after-tax profits starting 2018.
The plan seems quite ambitious: Xiaomi not only makes smartphones but also offers dozens of products ranging from self-balancing scooters to rice-cookers through its Mi Ecosystem. The company has even started selling products that we normally don’t relate to tech companies such as couches and toothbrushes. Its non-hardware business include its smartphone user interface MIUI, entertainment subscriptions, and financial services.
In the letter, Xiaomi’s CEO thanked Zhou Guangping for laying out an important foundation for the development of Xiaomi’s smartphones and hailed Huang Jiangji for pioneering many of Xiaomi’s services and strategies including cloud and IoT.
Zhou served as director of Xiaomi’s Mi-Phone Team. He joined Xiaomi after serving as Senior Director of Motorola Beijing R&D Center. Huang was responsible for developing MiTalk and was working at Microsoft before founding Xiaomi.
Chew Shou Zi, a Singaporean, joined Xiaomi in 2015 after working at billionaire investor Yuri Milner’s DST Global. Shou was involved in many of the company’s investments in China at the time including Xiaomi.