Lenovo names new North America chief

dranii@nc.rr.comNovember 26, 2012 

Gerry Smith, president of North American operations for Lenovo

HPP88 — Lenovo

Lenovo thinks so highly of Gerry Smith that it promoted him twice in a little more than a month.

The fast-growing PC maker announced that Smith, who most recently was senior vice president of global operations, has been named president of the company’s North American operations. It was just last month that Smith, 49, was promoted to the global operations post, which encompasses the company’s worldwide supply chain, including manufacturing, as well as services such as technical support and warranties. He previously was senior vice president of global supply chain, a position he had held since joining Lenovo in 2006.

Smith’s latest promotion makes him the successor to David Schmoock, who left the company to take a position at rival PC maker Dell, said Lenovo spokeswoman Milanka Muecke. She referred inquiries about Schmoock’s new job to Dell.

Dell confirmed that Schmoock is joining the company’s executive team, but was stingy with details.

Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn declined to disclose Schmoock’s title or specifics of his new role, other than to say that Schmoock is a sales executive who reports directly to Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and president of global operations and end-user computing solutions. Clarke in turn reports directly to chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

Within 24 hours of being notified that Schmoock was leaving Lenovo, the decision was made to promote Smith again, said Muecke, who cited the company’s “good succession planning.”

In his new role as head of North American operations, Smith reports directly to Yuanqing Yang, the company’s chairman and CEO, and will oversee day-to-day operations in North America.

Lenovo is based in China but has an executive headquarters in Morrisville that employs about 2,000 workers. It has been the fastest-growing major producer of PCs for 12 consecutive quarters and its worldwide market share has risen sharply, from No. 7 four years ago to No. 2 or No. 1, depending on which research firm is doing the counting.

In announcing Smith’s promotion, the company credited him with leading “a dramatic transformation of the company’s supply chain operations, significantly reducing costs, while improving delivery performance” and maintaining quality.

“Gerry is one of our strongest and most proven leaders who has helped Lenovo establish the best supply chain in our industry,” Yang said in a statement.

Smith currently lives in Singapore and hasn’t yet decided whether he will relocate.

“This happened so quickly,” Muecke said.

Smith, who wasn’t available for comment, will continue to oversee global operations as well until a successor is named.

“He has a really strong leadership team under him that is obviously running day-to-day” operations, Muecke said.

Before joining Lenovo, Smith was vice president and general manager of Dell’s display business. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington.

Schmoock also joined Lenovo in 2006 and had been president of North American operations since July 2010. His new position with Dell will be his second stint with the company. Before joining Lenovo he was an executive at Dell for about a decade.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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