Lenovo founder stepping down as chairman

Founder Liu Chuanzhi passes baton to chief executive Yang Yuanqing and becomes honorary chairman, who will turn his attention to PC maker's parent company, Legend.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Lenovo's founder Liu Chuanzhi has stepped down from his post as chairman, passing the role to CEO Yang Yuanqing who now holds both positions, says the Chinese PC maker which also unveils results from its second fiscal quarter.

In a statement Thursday, the Chinese PC maker announced that Liu would serve as the company's honorary chairman. This will allow him to turn his attentions to Lenovo's parent company, Legend Holdings, and help it reach its targeted IPO between 2014 and 2016.

Liu founded Lenovo in 1984 and returned to the company in February 2009 during the economic recession. He was reported to have said he would not relinquish his role until Lenovo was "back on track", according to ZDNet Asia's sister site, CNET China.

Last quarter, Lenovo overtook Dell to become the second biggest PC maker in the second quarter. Liu pointed to this incident as motivation for him to step down, adding that "I will not leave during a decline", reported CNET China.

According to Liu, the current CEO's commitment to the company was also a reason for his departure. Yang was said to have taken out loans to buy 8 percent of Lenovo stocks, a move which Liu described as "touching" and proof of his successor's determination and commitment to the company, reported the Chinese news site.

On the same day, Lenovo announced it clocked sales of US$7.8 billion in its second fiscal quarter, which saw a year-on-year growth of 35.2 percent.

Mature markets--PC and mobile Internet digital home business--represented the biggest portion of Lenovo's consolidated sales at 42.6 percent, accounting for US$3.3 billion of its worldwide sales. The PC firm noted that its partnership with NEC and the acquisition of Medion had begun to make impact in the Japanese and Western European markets.

China was the second-largest market for the company, accounting for 40.8 percent of its sales and consolidated sales of US$3.2 billion, said Lenovo. Sales in emerging markets accounted for 16.6 percent of the company's worldwide sales, at US$1.3 billion.

According to IDC figures, the Chinese PC market overtook the United States in the second quarter of 2011.

In a previous interview with ZDNet Asia, a Singapore-based Lenovo executive said emerging markets represented opportunities for PC makers to grow profitability as users who previously used only mobile phones to access the Internet would turn to more powerful devices for content creation.

Editorial standards