Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 had disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on day after the signing of SEA-ME-WE 5 agreement in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Hualian (Happy) Zhang, the VP of Network Planning for China Telecom Global, was among the ill-fated passengers of KL-Beijing flight. Besides, two persons from the Ministry, two persons from Huawei and one person from another telecom vendor were on board. Ms. Zhang was the only submarine cable professional in this group. Submarine cable industry veteran Sunil Tagare has paid tribute to Ms. Zhang:
She was responsible for the largest expansion of China Telecom in the submarine cable industry with investments in more than half a dozen new cables….Just as her name suggests, Happy was a very friendly person. She was very passionate about the industry. I have never met anyone with bigger dreams and a very calm demeanor. She was also a quick study, had deep knowledge of the industry and open to new ideas…. This is a big loss for China Telecom as well as the submarine cable industry.
Meanwhile, Freescale Semiconductor has confirmed that 20 of its employees were in the Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Twelve are from Malaysia and eight are from China. It has been reported that some of the staff were senior management, although the firm has not confirmed their identities yet.
Top-quality engineers are hard to come by for chipmakers and other technology companies, and losing them can have a major impact on business, regardless of their seniority. Mitch Haws, vice president of Freescale’s global communications and investor relations said, “These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people. It’s definitely a loss for the company.” Reuters reports.