Lenovo says bye-bye to key exec amid massive spring reorganisation

Senior peeps shuffled, divisions sliced and diced in pursuit of... er, something

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Lenovo is embarking on the mother of all spring cleans after digesting the acquisitions of Motorola and IBM’s volume server biz.

The group is re-arranging execs and the business units they steer amid numerous sector challenges, including the weakened state of demand for traditional PCs, tabs and smartphones, or the sales hit from cloud.

The PC Group will go through a “significant realignment” to morph into the PC & Smart Devices Business Group, lifting slabs, phablets, gaming and smart home computing gear out of the mobile unit to sit alongside classic desktops and notebooks, as well as detachable stuff.

The unit will be led by company president and COO Gianfranco Lanci – the former Acer boss that signed up to Lenovo in 2011 – who will report to CEO Yang Yanqing.

In Q4, Lenovo’s shipments declined 4.2 per cent to 15.38 million units in a market that shrank 8.3 per cent to 75.7 million boxes. The company is targeting 30 per cent market share but has some way to go, ending 2015 with a share of just 19.8 per cent.

The Enterprise Business Group will become the Data Centre Group (DCG), and will apparently be “empowered to move faster and more freely”, though the company didn’t explain how this will be possible.

As we revealed recently, Lenovo is working with a myriad of hyperconverged vendors – in the absence of its own kit. And the DCG will be “accelerating its open, partnership-focused approach with traditional, hyper scale and hyper converged customers”.

Gerry Smith will lead this unit, reporting to the CEO. Peter Hortensius, currently CTO across the Lenovo Group, will become chief techie for DCG and also head of strategy. A new group CTO will be recruited.

In this part of the business, Lenovo expanded massively via the acquisition of System x, IBM’s x86 server division. This business was shrinking before Big Blue offloaded it and has only recently started to stabilise following the sale.

The challenge for IBM is to establish a more effective supply chain to balance its needs so local channels have kit waiting for customers. IBM flew its ordered hardware out from the US, which was why it was renowned for being more expensive than rivals like HPE.

Lenovo previously put former UK boss Marc Godin in charge of the EMEA logistics for servers - he is now VP and General Manager of Middle East & Africa. Francois Bornibus, veep and COO for Lenovo EMEA is expected to set up a local configuration and assembly operation.

The Mobile Business Group will now house the existing smartphone business, which swelled when Lenovo bought Motorola. The unit will have two leaders: Xudong Chen will run sales in China and former Packard Bell exec Aymar de Lencquesaing takes on the rest of the world.

Head of Motorola Rick Osterloh “has decided to leave” the company, Lenovo claimed, in what seemed to be a brief comment on an exec who only took on the president and COO roles in April 2014.

“His steady leadership since Lenovo’s acquisition is appreciated,” the company said.

Last but not least, the Ecosystem and Cloud Services group will be renamed the Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group. It will still be run by George He, who will keep an eye on “spinoffs or investments in standalone start-ups”, and will continue to “develop” the “cloud and big data platform”.

Lenovo has spent billions to diversify and now it needs to get these moving parts functioning smoothly, which is easier said than done. ®


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