Yang Yuanqing

“We are a new unified culture, more efficient, more profitable and with better service for our customers.” ~Yang Yuanqing

Yang Yuanqing

Yang Yuanqing
Image: Fortune Live Media via Flickr CC

Representing a perfect example of China’s shift to capitalism, Yang Yuanqing began life poor and is now the leader of the world’s largest personal computer maker, Lenovo.  Although both of his parents were trained as surgeons, they were paid as manual laborers during China’s period of Cultural Revolution during the reign of communist leader Mao Zedong.  His parents were frequent targets of the government campaign to impose communist ideals onto citizens, often being sent to rural areas for “reeducation programs.”

Through hard work and determination, instilled into him by his father, Yang Yuanqing was able to receive a master’s degree in computer science and began working for Lenovo in 1988.  He quickly became a rockstar in the business world in China, and was named by BusinessWeek in 1999 and 2001 as a “Star of Asia.”  He was awarded with media attention and recognition as a top entrepreneur and manager.

By age 42, he had risen to the ranks of Chairman, and in 2008 he was named Chief Executive Officer.  Yuanqing led the company in purchasing IBM’s PC division in 2004, which helped them become the global company they are today.  Forbes frequently lists him as a top Chinese CEO, and for the last two years Yuanqing has shared his $3 million plus bonus with his factory workers in China and the United States.

Today, Lenovo is quickly positioning itself as the leader in tablet and mobile device sales.  This year the company announced that smartphone and notebook sales have surpassed the personal computer sales, selling 11.4 million smart phones in the quarter that ended in June.

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