Founder Liu Chuanzhi shifts focus to fresh challenges as record share, maintained growth provides perfect timing for transition.
Lenovo Group, which earlier announced that it has become the number 2 global PC maker after achieving record worldwide market share in its second quarter, announced Wednesday that its CEO Yang Yuanqing will assume the dual role of Chairman and CEO. Company founder Liu Chuanzhi, who returned as chairman in February 2009 to help turn the company around successfully after the economic downturn, will become honorary chairman of Lenovo. He will focus most of his efforts on Lenovo’s parent company, Legend Holdings, to significantly accelerate growth, build core operating assets, and drive Legend Holdings to a targeted IPO between 2014 and 2016.
Yuanqing Yang previously served as Lenovo Chairman from 2005-2009.
Lenovo also announced Wednesday that John Zhao, CEO of Hony Capital Limited, and a director and senior vice president of Legend Holdings, is joining Lenovo’s board of directors as a non-executive director, effective on November 3rd. He brings world-class credentials and perspective to Lenovo.
“Since establishing a clear strategy following the economic downturn of 2009, a solid foundation has been established for business growth, and they have achieved outstanding results,” Chairman Liu said. “I have confidence that Lenovo’s strong global culture of commitment and ownership is now firmly in place. A solid and international core management team has been formed with a shared vision and determination to take the company forward. Lenovo not only has great momentum in the PC market, but has successfully entered into the mobile Internet space. I do believe that Yuanqing and his core management team will lead Lenovo Group to be united and to achieve even greater success together.”
“Yuanqing has a deep understanding, and strong planning and execution capabilities in the PC industry. In addition, Yuanqing previously served as Lenovo Chairman and gained great experience. As well as the progress of the past two years, he has established his own reputation globally. Now he is fully capable of taking the dual role of Chairman and CEO and leading an internationalized company to keep moving forward and achieving successes. As an important shareholder of Lenovo, Legend Holdings will continue to fully support Lenovo in the long term to develop further.”
Liu founded Lenovo in 1984, leading a team of 10 scientists with just 200,000 RMB in funding. As the company founder, he led Lenovo to consistent growth, taking share from major multinational companies, to become one of China’s technology leaders.
Yang became leader of the company’s PC business in 1994. Lenovo has been recognized as China’s bestselling PC brand since 1997. This success established Lenovo as the number one PC company in China a position it has held ever since. Lenovo’s success inspired rapid growth of many other Chinese IT companies, and pioneered a path for the successful evolution of high-tech research results in labs into products and businesses in China.
In 2005, Chairman Liu and Yang Yuanqing led one of the boldest moves in corporate history with the acquisition of the IBM’s PC Division and the formation of a new global PC power. The move also provided valuable experience and learning for other Chinese companies going global.
In addition to its number 2 ranking globally (according to IDC), Lenovo is now the number one PC company in China; the number one PC company in Japan (through a joint venture with NEC); the number one PC company in all global emerging markets; and the number one PC commercial notebook company in the world.
The company has been the fastest growing major PC company for 8 quarters, and is now expanding into new high-growth areas like the mobile Internet (with recent global tablet launches). Last year, Lenovo reported record revenue of $21.6 billion.
Liu’s contributions to Lenovo have not only brought Lenovo to the heights it has reached today, but have created the foundation for the company’s sustainable growth. Key achievements include the transformation of ownership of the company into a public company traded in Hong Kong with a standardized governance structure that meets market requirements. This has created the foundation for Lenovo’s long-term growth.
He has focused heavily on talent development and building a strong global team. And he developed a set of management philosophies and approaches at Lenovo, centering on the “Three Management Keys” (include building leadership team, developing strategy and “taking people with you” as a leader). These management philosophies and approaches have not only supported Lenovo’s growth, but have also been the core competence of Legend Holdings, a diversified investment and holding company, which helps with the growth and performance improvements of a wide range of Chinese enterprises, according to a Lenovo report.
“Chairman Liu is not only Lenovo’s founder, but also an outstanding leader. He led Lenovo through many watershed moments and created one milestone after another. With his wisdom, he helped build a new kind of global company. His profound management philosophies, passion for building a strong culture, and unmatched vision will be a tremendous legacy for us,” Yang Yuanqing said. “I know that Legend Holdings will now be his focus, but Lenovo will always be part of Chairman Liu, and Chairman Liu will always be part of Lenovo.”
As honorary chairman, Mr. Liu does not have any management role in the Company or any of its subsidiaries.
He will be consulted on corporate affairs if necessary and will not receive any remuneration for this appointment.
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