Great interview from June by McKinsey’s Gordon Orr and Rik Kirkland with Lenovo Chairman/CEO Yang Yuanqing. Genuinely great leader who was part of the original Lenovo crew from the mid-80s. Probably the tech sector rock star, their version of our Bill Gates/Michael Dell rolled into one.
He makes some key points about Lenovo’s rise to #1 in the sagging PC industry.
1. The company followed a “protect and attack” strategy of protecting its enterprise/commercial business in the west while attacking in emerging markets, particularly Brazil and India through acquisitions and organic growth.
2. It diversified out of PCs into mobile early and has been a scrappy player inside of China’s fierce smartphone market.
3. It isn’t reluctant to invest in R&D to differentiate its products.
4. Being Number One is a self-fulfilling brand builder, as he put it: everyone knows the name of the tallest mountain in the world, but what’s the name of the second tallest?