Today’s news that Lenovo’s American CEO has left the company (after one bad quarter!) is not the big Lenovo news of the day. Nor is it the news that Yuan Yuanqing, the company’s Chairman and former CEO is taking over in the American’s place. No, the big news is that a company which staked its growth as a global company on an expensive 2005 acquisition of IBM’s PC business, is now talking like this:
In its statement on Thursday, the company said it suffered from a sharp drop in global demand for personal computers, a situation that is hurting the entire industry. The company said it would now focus on its China business, an area that Mr. Yang had helped develop.
“Lenovo has grown successfully on the international stage, but at this important time, we want to pay particular attention to our China business as it represents the foundation of our global business and growth strategy,” Mr. Liu, the new chairman, said Thursday in a statement.
When Lenovo signed on as a major sponsor of the 2008 Olympics, it did so with the belief that its presence would solidify its status as a globally respected/successful brand (after re-branding IBM’s PC line with the Lenovo name). Indeed, since the 2005 IBM acquisition, Lenovo has been at pains to prove (to itself, I think, above all others) that it’s not a Chinese company; it’s an international one. Obviously, I have no idea what’s going through the heads that comprise Lenovo’s board, but I have to think that the decision to dump its “international” CEO and return to its Chinese roots (despite its expensive int’l PC business) might be cause for a bit of buyer’s remorse. Would Lenovo, if it could, make that acquisition, again?