Opinion

Lenovo tweaks channel execs line-up to keep sales boom alive

Lenovo always threatened to be a thorn in the side of HP and the other major PC players but finally with a string of decent results under its belt last year plus some market share gains, the Chinese giant is looking like the real deal.

The worldwide PC market limped past the finish line at the end of Q4 but while HP and Acer declined, Dell moved up marginally, Lenovo recorded healthy double digit growth of 21.4%, number crunchers at Gartner showed.

It was no slouch in Western Europe either as Context data revealed revenue growth through distribution of 35.7%, bettered only by Apple, which romped home with a stunning 92.6% rise.

Lenovo's Q2 sales numbers for fiscal 2011 weren't bad either, up 41% on the same month twelve months earlier to $5.8bn (£3.6bn). Profits were less to write home about at $77m, albeit up 45% year-on-year.

So why did Lenovo take years after the acquisition of IBM's PC division to break the inconsistent performance? Weak channel execution was one of the major stumbling blocks as was its lack of consumer kit in Europe.

In late 2009, it created the Channel Partner Organisation, overhauled rebates, refined its internal structure to remove conflict with its direct sales force and improved supply chain logistics to slash lead times.

And its major partnership with Computacenter on PCs has helped out the numbers across Europe too.

After travelling such a distance, Lenovo would be foolhardy to wrest on its laurels which is probably why it has tweaked the senior management across Western Europe again today.

David McQuarrie, VP of Lenovo's transactional business will cover very small business, SME and consumer, backed up by Robert Pasquier, exec director for the channel partner organisation.

This effectively frees up McQuarrie's predecessor Vicent Fauquenot, who is expected to move into an operational role to ensure the continued and relatively smooth running of the supply chain.

With acquisitions on its mid - lest we forget Lenovo missed out on buying Packard-Bell - the vendor is looking for viable alternative to the US brand that dominated the market for year.

This was first published in January 2011

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