Fifth Dell Executive Leaves for Lenovo

An Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst sees the latest hiring move by Lenovo as a continuing effort by its CEO to rebuild the company after its purchase of IBM's PC division.

For the fifth time in less than a year, Lenovo Group—fighting to extend its position as the worlds third-largest PC maker—has hired away an executive from rival Dell.

On Aug. 31, Lenovo appointed Gerry Smith, 43, senior vice president of its Global Supply Chain division. Smith will report directly to Lenovo CEO William Amelio and will be based in Singapore, Lenovo said in a statement.

Smith had been with Dell since 1994, where he oversaw the computer makers Singapore Design Center and its display business unit. He will start his new job with Lenovo immediately, the company said.

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Smith will replace Liu Jun, who has led Lenovos Global Supply Chain division for the past year, who will take a years sabbatical to purse academic studies, Lenovo said.

Smith will focus on improving supply chain management for Lenovo. "Gerry is a seasoned executive in PC and peripherals supply chain management, with a solid track record delivering in the areas that Lenovo is currently targeting for improvements, particularly serviceability and cost reductions," Amelio said in a statement.

Amelio ran Dells Asia operation before joining Lenovo in December 2005. Since he was appointed CEO on Dec. 21, 2005, he has brought it in to take various jobs in Lenovos various Asian Pacific divisions. The continued recruitment appears to suggest that Lenovo, based in Purchase, N.Y., is working to strengthen its operations and fill out its executive ranks to do battle in the cutthroat PC market.

Roger L. Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, in Wayland, Mass., said he sees the moves by Dell executives to Lenovo as part of Amelios effort to help bridge the gap between the tradition at Lenovo, which had been based in China, and the new culture that came with the purchase of IBMs PC division.

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Amelio has also been able to convince his former Dell colleagues that Lenovo is a company on the rise and there are more career opportunities to grow and have influence at Lenovo than at Dell, Kay said.

"The upside for Lenovo is that there is more in the future than in the present," Kay said.

Lenovo will continue to grow in the PC market place as Amelio continues to work out lingering problems left from the IBM merger, Kay said. He pointed to the ThinkPad, which Lenovo continues to sell, and to the new Lenovo 3000 line of desktops and notebooks that the company has aggressively marketed to SMBs (small and midsize businesses). Kay also said he expects the company to benefit from advertising during the 2008 Olympic Games, which will be hosted in China.

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