RALEIGH, N.C. – If you want to develop a better understanding of how – and why – Lenovo operates the way it does, then buy the latest copy of BusinessWeek, or read it online.
The new issue offers a fascinating, in-depth look at the man responsible for overseeing Lenovo, which is building its new global headquarters in Morrisville.
A profile of Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing describes him as “a Chinese Bill Gates.”
Yang is the person who pushed Lenovo’s board members to acquire IBM’s personal computing division last year. Now overseeing the world’s third largest PC manufacturer, Yang has directed the integration of Chinese and American operations while hiring former Dell executive William Amelio as his chief executive officer.
He is no tradition-bound bureaucrat, either.
“If your idea of a Chinese boss is a cautious bureaucrat propped up by the state, Yang is not that guy,” BusinessWeek reported. “He presides over a merit-based culture built on the Silicon Valley blueprint: In an elder-worshipping country, he fearlessly promotes young people and fires employees who aren’t up to snuff. He demands that people learn from their mistakes, and he’s relentless about self-improvement. When it became clear 18 months ago that he was being hindered by his scant knowledge of English, he hired a tutor, watched CNN obsessively, and went from halting to conversant within a year.”
In a second story, Liu Chuanzhi, the founder of Lenovo, said Yang’s insistence that the company make the IBM deal was the key factor in the buying decision.
“You could say that without Yuanqing’s perseverance we never would have made this acquisition,” Liu said. “One of the biggest concerns of the directors was that the IBM PC business was losing money, and they wondered how it would become profitable under Lenovo. And there were also concerns about the integration of the companies. Yuanqing’s team very clearly answered those questions and to a degree alleviated [the board’s] concerns.”