HONG KONG, Sept. 28, 2011– Lenovo Group, the world’s third-largest PC manufacturer, today announced that Nobuyuki Idei is joining the company’s Board of Directors as an independent non-executive director. Mr. Idei is the founder and chief executive officer of Quantum Leaps Corporation and former chairman and group chief executive officer of Sony Corp. He will replace outgoing non-executive director James Coulter.
Coulter is a co-founder of TPG Capital, which was a significant initial investor in the Company at the time of acquisition of the IBM Personal Computing Division in 2005 and which, last year, divested itself of its remaining holdings in the Company.
The appointment of Mr. Idei strengthens Lenovo’s strategic understanding of the market in Japan, where following the creation of its joint venture with NEC PC Lenovo is now the number one PC company. Even more, the move reflects the company’s increasing focus on expanding its business into high growth consumer markets, driving exceptional product innovation and building a powerful global brand.
“On behalf of the entire Board and management of the company, I welcome Mr. Idei to our leadership team, and I am extremely confident that his unmatched experience, proven expertise and history of leadership at the highest levels of global business will deliver direct, positive benefit to Lenovo’s strategic development and long-term success,” said Liu Chuanzhi, Chairman of Lenovo Group. “As we welcome Mr. Idei, I also wish to thank Jim Coulter for his years of dedicated service and his contributions to Lenovo’s growth as a significant company on the global business landscape.”
Lenovo has strong momentum in the marketplace. According to IDC, Lenovo now ranks number 3 in global PC market share. Lenovo is now the number one PC company in China; the number one PC company in Japan (through a joint venture with NEC); the number one PC company in all global emerging markets (including China); and the number two PC commercial notebook company in the world. The company has been the fastest growing major PC company for 7 quarters, and is now expanding into new high growth areas like the mobile Internet (with recent global tablet launches). Last year, Lenovo reported record revenue of $21 billion.
“Because of our great momentum, optimistic outlook and strong strategic positioning for the future, Lenovo is able to attract the top talent from around the world to our company,” said Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing. “Mr. Idei is a legendary technology innovator and an icon in the consumer electronics space. We believe his knowledge and passion will help Lenovo achieve its long-term goals.”
Regarding Coulter, Yang added, “Jim Coulter has been a tremendous asset to Lenovo, and we would not have our strong momentum and our deep understanding of the global business landscape without his input and strategic counsel. We are most grateful for Jim’s service.”
Coulter confirmed that he has no disagreement with the Board and there is no matter in relation to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company.
Added Nubuyuki Idei: “It is an honor to be asked to join the board of a company that I believe is not only demonstrating its ability to excel in a highly competitive worldwide marketplace, but is also truly helping define what it means to be a next generation global company. Lenovo has tremendous balance in its products, performance, people and leadership. It is doing new things and blazing a trail that others will follow. The challenge of creating a new kind of global company and bringing even more amazing technologies to customers around the world is one that truly excites me.”
About Nobuyuki Idei
Mr. Idei, aged 73, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Waseda University in Tokyo. Mr. Idei is founder and chief executive officer of Quantum Leaps Corporation, a consultancy company he founded in September 2006. It serves to nurture and develop venture companies, help corporate transformation and enhance Japanese competitiveness for the 21st century.
Until retiring June 2005, for more than a decade, Mr. Idei held a wide variety of leadership positions at Sony Corporation (“Sony”) (a company listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Osaka Securities Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange), including chairman and group chief executive officer from 2000 to 2005, president and chief executive officer from 1999 to 2000, and president and representative director from 1995 to 1999. Prior to that, he held a range of senior management positions at Sony including deputy general manager of the audio group, deputy president of the media, information products and systems group, and senior general manager of the home video group. Internationally he was active in the establishment of Sony’s European market presence, particularly through the establishment of Sony France in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr. Idei played a key role in moving Sony Corporation into the digital age and in developing and enhancing Sony’s renowned design and brand image throughout his career.
Mr. Idei currently serves on the boards of directors of Accenture plc (a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange), Baidu, Inc. (a company listed on NASDAQ) and FreeBit Co., Ltd. (a company listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange). He has also held the position of chairman of Sony’s advisory board since his retirement from an executive position in June 2005. Mr. idei is also chairman of the National Conference on Fostering Beautiful Forests in Japan since June 2007.
He has served on the boards of Nestlé S.A., Electrolux and General Motors and also served in a number of other advisory positions including as counselor to the Bank of Japan, vice chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and chairman of the IT Strategy Council, an advisory committee to Japan’s Prime Minister.