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Lenovo CEO says he’ll quit if the company misses sales target
Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo Group, says he’s confident that the company will reach its online sales target. Or else, he’s going to step down.
If you don’t know the story behind Lenovo’s current CEO, Yang Yuanqing, let me just tell you, it’s quite remarkable: Yang joined the company as a sales representative at the age of 25 and quickly rose to become a distribution manager. His work there was essential in establishing a close relationship with Microsoft and expanding the company’s presence throughout China and later on, the world. He became the company CEO in 2009, and of course, it’s under him that Lenovo acquired Motorola.
However, the company’s ambition to branch out into smartphone business hasn’t exactly been all smooth sailing, and even its forte – its computer division – has been struggling against its American counterparts like HP and Dell. Nonetheless, it seems Yang is quite confident about the company’s future. In a press conference, he asked investors for more patience and laid out short-term and long-term goals for the company.
Yang wants to expand its online sales to bring approximately $12 billion in annual revenue within three years.
In the long-run, Lenovo’s focus is on artificial intelligence, according to Bloomberg. Yang wants to invest a whopping $1 billion over the next few years into AI-related research and development so that the company can better compete with the likes of Alibaba and Tencent in China. As for a more immediate goal, Yang states that he wants to expand its online sales to bring approximately $12 billion in annual revenue within three years. Bloomberg says that Lenovo’s hope is to partner up with JD.com, China’s second largest online retailer. What’s more, Yang is willing to step down as CEO if he is unable to meet this goal:
I don’t want to step down. I’m confident we can achieve that. That’s not something worrying… Investors should have more patience. If you want to see the result, it will take time.
Lenovo has recently appointed Liu Jun, the man behind the Motorola acquisition, to head the company’s Chinese PC division in an effort to bring new changes to its struggling PC business. There are also rumors that claim Lenovo’s PC division might merge with Fujitsu though Yang says it’s simply in negotiation for now. With faltering PC sales and worse-than-expected smartphone performance, Lenovo clearly needs to look ahead. In other words, its future could depend on how successful it is in leading the impending era of AI.
What are your thoughts on Lenovo? Do you think Lenovo will be able to survive in the PC and smartphone markets?