Liu Chuanzhi, the Chinese born entrepreneur who launched Lenovo, is stepping down as chairman of the world’s No. 2 PC maker.

Yang Yuanqing, his long time right-hand man, will take over the role of chairman in addition to his duties as chief executive officer.

Liu plans to focus on the parent company of Lenovo, Lenovo Holdings, the company said in an announcement early Wednesday.

The news came after Lenovo reported another strong quarter of growth with profits improving 88 percent from a year ago. (Read details here.)

The top-rank shuffle is the second in two years at the company, which is largely based in China but maintains its executive headquarters in Morrisville.

Yang stepped down as chairman to become CEO in 2009 to lead a restructuring effort that followed the departure of then-CEO William Amelio.

At the same time, Liu resumed his role as chairman.

The two led a restructuring and refocusing of the company. The result has been two years of rapid growth and Lenovo vaulting to No. 2 in global PC sales behind HP. In those two years, Lenovo surged past Acer and Dell.

According to Lenovo, Liu plans to “significantly accelerate growth, build core operating assets, and drive Legend Holdings to a targeted [initial public offering of stock] between 2014 and 2016.”

Yang served as chairman from 2005-2009.

Liu Says He Leaves “Solid Foundation”

“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,” Liu said in a statement.

“I have confidence that Lenovo’s strong global culture of commitment and ownership is now firmly in place,” he added. “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.”

Lenovo bought IBM’s PC division, which was largely based in the Triangle area, in 2005.

Yang Praises Liu

“Chairman Liu is not only Lenovo’s founder, but also an outstanding leader,” Yang said.

“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,” he added. “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.”

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