On the afternoon of December 18, Lenovo Holdings officially announced that The 75-year-old Liu Chuanzhi will step down as Chairman, Executive Director and Chairman of the Nomination Committee of Lenovo Holdings, effective December 31, 2019. Lenovo Holdings’ board of directors will also give Mr Liu the title of “honorary chairman”, while Mr Liu will also serve as a senior adviser to Lenovo Holdings.
At the same time, Lenovo Holdings Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director Ning Yi will take over as Chairman and Chairman of the Nomination Committee, effective January 1, 2020. Previously, Ningyi was responsible for the company’s finance and capital, capital operations, wind control and auditing, as well as capital markets and public relations, and presided over the operation and management of the financial investment business.
For Lenovo Holdings of this personnel change, many media called it “the end of Lenovo Liu Chuanzhi era.”
From researcher to entrepreneur
When it comes to Liu Chuanzhi, most people’s first impression is that lenovo brand founders. However, he and Lenovo’s story starts 35 years ago.
Liu Chuanzhi was an assistant researcher at the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1984, when, at the age of 40, he was paid 78 yuan a month for a family of seven living in a 12-square-meter cottage converted from a bicycle shed. One day, Liu Chuanzhi received an “order” from his superiors and was appointed as the deputy manager responsible for the day-to-day operations of the newly established Beijing Computer New Technology Development Corporation (also the predecessor of Lenovo Group). Liu Chuanzhi’s life trajectory has changed forever – from a researcher to an entrepreneur.
On October 17 of the same year, Liu Chuanzhi, with 10 colleagues, began their “entrepreneurial career” in the communication room of the South Road 2 Computing Institute of the Zhongguancun Academy of Sciences in Beijing. However, after walking out of the Institute this “greenhouse”, did not crawl in the business world, Liu Chuanzhi soon hit the wall, the company just set up soon, by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to calculate the investment of 200,000 yuan was cheated out of 140,000.
The communication room of Lenovo’s birth
Mr Liu was struggling with livelihood problems for his staff, but he never wanted to give up. “In the future, we will be a large company with an annual output value of 2 million yuan, ” he said. “At the time, no one thought Lenovo would become a fortune in the world’s top 500 companies in the future.
In early 1985, a large list of the Chinese Academy of Sciences worth 700,000 yuan was given to Lenovo to help Liu Chuanzhi and his employees get through the difficult ies; in 1988, Liu Chuanzhi discovered the opportunity to import computers in Hong Kong much lower than the mainland, so he founded The Hong Kong Lenovo and used various relationships to get the until the U.S. AST computer’ general generation. More importantly, he equipped the AST computer with the Lenovo Chinese character system, which greatly enhanced the competitiveness of AST computers in the Chinese market.
Lenovo earned the first bucket of gold in the true sense of the word, and began to think about moving towards its own brand. In 1990, Lenovo launched its first self-branded personal computer.
However, even on the road of independent brands, foreign computer brands under the strong “surrounding”, Lenovo’s days are not good. In 1993, Liu Chuanzhi underwent a major internal personnel overhaul, and Yang Yuanqing, then 29, was tasked with the task of Lenovo’s own brand.
The following year, Lenovo was listed in Hong Kong with a market capitalisation of HK$828 million on its first day.
Liu Chuanzhi later recalled that they expected “if this road can be done, we will not have no food in the future”, but for Liu Chuanzhi personally, his original intention is to make his family better off.
After Mr. Yang took over Lenovo’s own brand, Mr. Liu began to think about the company’s international isations and secretly contributed to Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s PC business in 2004, which caused a huge stir at the time when no Chinese company could swallow up the business of an international giant.
Just when the company was in the moment of high light, Liu Chuanzhi resigned as chairman of Lenovo Group, let Xian to Yang Yuanqing. Liu Chuanzhi later admitted internally: the business community is changing rapidly, their pace has been relatively slow, although in the continuous learning and thinking, but the decision-making power to the younger generation after all.
Above, Yang Yuanqing
Although Mr Liu resigned as chairman, he did not really leave Lenovo. Shortly after Mr. Yang took over Mr. Liu’s position in 2008, he suffered a financial crisis, and Lenovo made its first loss, with a full-year loss of $226 million.
To that end, the retired Mr Liu had to “get out of the mountains” in 2009 to help Lenovo tide over the difficulties, saying the financial crisis was only a trigger for Lenovo’s fall into the crisis, and that the root cause was that Lenovo had failed to manage the relationship between Chinese and Western employees after acquiring IBM PC. Since then, Lenovo has gone downhill. Lenovo’s share price has been falling since 2009, with 171 global technology stocks, according to Bloomberg.
Fortunately, after Liu Chuanzhi and Yang Yuanqing’s joint efforts, Lenovo in several quarters of consecutive losses, and finally achieved a turn-around. In 2011, Liu Chuanzhi believed that the situation had stabilized, and once again let go of the chairman of the board of directors “returned” to Yang Yuanqing. He’s going to do a “big deal” – leading Lenovo Holdings to a public offering at the age of 70.
However, just as Mr Liu was standing on the Hong Kong stock exchange ringing the bell for Lenovo Holdings’ listing (2015), Lenovo Group, led by Mr Yang, was struggling with losses, which amounted to 840 million yuan in 2015.
In May 2018, reports circulated on the Internet that “Lenovo did not support Huawei in a 5G standard vote two years ago” were reported, and that the report also featured harsh accusations such as “Lenovo selling the country”, pushing Lenovo to the forefront.
This matter let the long-lost behind the scenes of Liu Chuanzhi stand up for Lenovo voice, “Lenovo can not allow someone to throw dirty water, or even brand the hat of the country.” In addition, he called on all Lenovo employees to take action and win Lenovo’s honor battle. In the end, Lenovo’s solidarity with hundreds of entrepreneurs from various industries in the country was able to calm public opinion.
The much-respected “Godfather”
For Lenovo, Liu Chuanzhi is the founder, for Lenovo to train Yang Yuanqing, Zhu Linan, Zhao Linghuan, Ning Yi, Chen Shaopeng and other leading figures, his significance to Lenovo is naturally self-evident. But looking at the chinese business community as a whole, Liu Chuanzhi also has a pivotal position, he is also affectionately known as the “godfather” of the industry.
In 1993, Liu Chuanzhi founded the Taishan Society, the members include Liu Chuanzhi, Lu Zhiqiang, Shi Yuzhu and others, and later, Yu Minhong, Ma Yun and others also joined in. In 2006, Liu Chuanzhi initiated the creation of a Chinese corporate club, Wang Jianlin, Wang Shi and other big curry have joined. In 2016, Liu Chuanzhi handed ma the position of president of the China Entrepreneurs Club to Jack Ma.
All in all, Wang Jianlin, Ma Yun, Lei Jun and other entrepreneurs all respect him three points – this point mentioned above, “Liu Chuanzhi in May last year for Lenovo voice, has been the support of hundreds of entrepreneurs in various industries in China” can also be fully reflected;
In 2015, at Lenovo Holdings’ IPO celebration, Mr Ma said:
China has Liu Chuanzhi, our Liu Chuanzhi is no less than any of the world’s great entrepreneurs, he is the wealth of our Chinese business community.
In September this year, 75-year-old Liu Chuanzhi went to Japan for physical reasons to recuperate, during which Ma Yun also made a special trip to Liu Chuanzhi’s residence to visit.
When Xiaomi went public last year, Lei Jun was asked in an interview about “the object of admiration” and said he did have a few admirers, and the number one was Liu Chuanzhi and the second was Jobs. Lei Jun revealed that when he first started as CEO (20 years ago), he spent a long time learning Liu Chuanzhi, including the management of the company and the state of mind. He believes that Liu Chuanzhi has influenced a large number of entrepreneurs, and said that “Liu Chuanzhi is the godfather of every Zhongguancun people.” “
Although Liu Chuanzhi’s wealth is far less than that of some popular entrepreneurs, to some extent, his entrepreneurial spirit has indeed inspired generations of entrepreneurs. He himself says he will give regular interviews because he would prefer to spread his ideas and ideas widely to inspire and inspire other entrepreneurs.
In any case, as one of the first outstanding entrepreneurs to emerge since the reform and opening-up, Liu Chuanzhi has participated in and witnessed most of China’s business history of technology and the Internet over the past 35 years. Now, after experiencing the wind and waves and the precipitation of the years, Liu Chuanzhi’s mentality has become calm.
In a recent public service speech, he said:
I’m not afraid of death myself, because I’m worth it, but I’m very health-conscious, I hope I can play a role when Lenovo needs me, I want to bring joy to my family and friends, I want to try to practice golf, I still have a lot of books, movies, TV shows, I want to learn tai chi, I want to learn to sing when I have time…
Summing up his life, he said, “I’ve overcome difficulties in numerances, and it’s worth it all my life.” “