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By | Ashlee Vance 21st December 2005 09:58

Lenovo replaces Big Blue CEO with Dell man

Quick switch

Lenovo has performed a CEO swap, bringing in Dell's Asia-Pacific chief and slotting old IBM hand and current CEO Stephen Ward into the role of consultant.

William Amelio, the former SVP of Dell, will take on both Lenovo's CEO and President roles. Ward moves to the consultant office, assisting "in the transition." The executive switch occurs close to a year after Lenovo revealed plans to buy IBM's PC business.

Ward, once the general manager of Big Blue's personal systems unit, helped sell and complete the Lenovo acquisition and has guided the company through a fairly smooth transition.

Amelio has worked just about everywhere, including Dell, NCR, Honeywell, AlliedSignal and IBM.

"Steve and Lenovo's board agreed that now is the right time for this transition," said Lenovo's Chairman Yang Yuanqing. "Bill Amelio's combined experience - in our industry, in emerging and mature markets, in senior operational roles and with IBM - gives him the perfect profile to lead Lenovo from the important stability we have achieved in the first phase of our integration, to the profitable growth and efficiency improvement to which we are committed in our next phase."

Lenovo also crafted a canned quotation for the departing Ward.

"Yuanqing and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this," he said. "Bringing in Bill Amelio is a great move. Lenovo is an incredible company and I have great confidence in its future success."

It's quite a surprise to see Ward leave just 12 months into this massive transition. We'll wait and see what tales emerge to explain the shift. ®

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