Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Yang Yuanqing reassumed the role of chairman of Lenovo a week ago and is wasting no time in asserting himself as the boss.

Yang, who maintains a residence in the Triangle, has put together a new “Executive Committee” that is discussing a new four-year plan for the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer.

Yang retained his chief executive officer role. Since former President Rory Read wasn’t replaced when he bolted for chip maker AMD, Yang is the company’s dominant force. But he is reaching out for support. He and the executive committee members appeared at a media event on Wednesday, according to the Chinese news service SINA.

Ray Gorman, head of media relations for Lenovo, confirmed the report. “We are not issuing a press release,” he added in an e-mail to WRAL Tech Wire.

The plan will include “investments and acquisitions,” SINA reported.

A similar committee was formed in 2009. SINA added.

Under what Lenovo called a “Protect and Attack” strategy, the company has gone from in-the-red to profitable and growing at a rapid rate even as the global economy and PC industry struggle.

What Is Protect and Attack?

International consulting firm BTS describes the Lenovo strategy this way:

“In executing the strategy, Lenovo is dedicated to protecting its core legacy business and geographic presence wjhile attacking new market opportunities in regions with high growth potential. Driven by exceptional success and continuous, stable growth, Lenovo remains focused on implementing its Protect and Attack strategy across all geographies, customer segments and product lines as the organization continues to build its business worldwide.”

Over the past three years, Lenovo has undergone a major reorganization while forming a joint partnership with NEC in Japan and acquiring the top PC and electronics firm in Germany. New products, aggressive marketing and expansion has triggered record growth and profits for Lenovo, which vaulted past Acer and Dell to become No. 2 in PC sales behind HP.

Lenovo, which maintains its executive headquarters in Morrisville but is primarily based in China, also has expanded into smartphones and spun off a videogame platform manufacturing company in China.

“The committee was initially established with the goals of increasing management efficiency and communication between the upper echelons of management and of planning, strategizing, and implementing major company decisions,” SINA said. “The committee became Lenovo’s highest-level strategy organization. A source inside the company previously claimed that all major Lenovo strategy in 2009 came from the LEC.”

The Committee

The new executive committee includes Yang and:

• Milko van Duijl, senior vice president and president for mature markets
• Liu Jun, senior vice president and president of Lenovo Mobile Internet and Digital Home Business Group
• Peter Hortensius, senior vice president and president of Lenovo Product Group
• Wong Wai Ming, senior vice president and chief financial officer
• Qiao Jian, senior vice president and human resources director
• He Zhiqiang, senior vice president and chief technology officer
• Gerry Smith, senior vice president and global supply chain director

The group is a mix of Lenovo and IBM veterans. Van Duijl and Hortensius are former IBMers who joined Lenovo when the company bought Big Blue’s PC division in 2005. Smith joined Lenovo post-IBM deal from Dell.

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