RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — William Amelio, a second-degree black belt, is giving Dell a beating in the corporate suite. Now comes the true test: Can the chief executive officer of Lenovo, the third largest computer manufacturer in the world, make up ground in its battle with No. 1 Dell as well as No. 2 HP?

Lenovo, which is building a new global headquarters in Morrisville around the personal computing unit it bought from IBM for $1.25 billion, has hired four top executives away from Dell just this month. Amelio, who led Dell’s Asian operations from Singapore before joining Lenovo last December, obviously as a plan to grow Lenovo and increase its profitability.

Hiring the Dell execs to fill out his management team is part of that. So too is starting a new business unit focused on service. It will, of course, be led by a former Dell executive.

In an interview with CNN, Amelio talked about how Lenovo is rounding into shape as an international company with a mixture of U.S. born executives, former IBM management, and the Chinese managers who led the charge to purchase IBM’s unit.

Asked if he was feeling pressure, Amelio told CNN:

“No. What I will tell you is this. I think we are behaving more like a global company. Think about it for a minute. Our board is made up of five U.S. nationals and we have three from Hong Kong and four from the PRC (People’s Republic of China) so it is truly a global board. The chairman is Chinese, the CEO is American and if you look at any individual country it is being run by the locals in that country.”

Having worked in Asia, Amelio said he is better prepared to shape Lenovo’s managers into a cohesive group. No doubt having known the Dell executives he has hired will be a help. But Amelio made it clear in the CNN interview that he wants everyone involved in senior management to express themselves despite whatever cultural taboos that might violate.

“Probably, as you pointed out they are less apt to give their opinions unless they are asked,” he said of some managers, particularly Asian. “So it is important, as an example, one of the team-building things we do is to make sure that we go around the room. We are practicing all of us that at the end of the meeting or in the middle of the meeting we go around the room and get people’s opinions so it forces discussion on the table. The other thing that we are doing is that we are setting a culture where straight talk becomes an important part of who we are. Meaning, don’t leave the room without leaving your opinion on the table. And, we are grading people accordingly. One of the things that is important to get the right culture in the business is also how you run meetings.”

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For a roundup on the hiring of the Dell executives, see: