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Lenovo Raids Dell Again, Hiring 5th Top Exec In Two Weeks

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RALEIGH, N.C. — For the fifth time in two weeks,


has raided the executive ranks of rival


to hire a senior executive.

Thursday morning, Lenovo announced that Gerry Smith, a 12-year Dell veteran, would join the world's third-largest PC manufacturer as its senior vice president for Global Supply Chain.

In building what he now calls the "most exceptional roster of talent in our industry," Chief Executive Officer William Amelio continues to hire senior Dell executives based in Asia. Amelio, himself a former Dell executive, ran Dell's Asian operations before joining Lenovo in December.

Thus far, Dell has dismissed the Lenovo hiring spree, with Dell Chairman Michael Dell saying recently that the No. 1 PC manufacturer in the world was keeping executives it wanted.

However, the Asian market is a key theater in the global market for computer sales. Lenovo, which was founded as a Chinese company but is now based in the Triangle after purchasing the personal computing division of IBM, dominates the market in China. HP is the world's second-ranked PC maker in sales.

Japan and China rank second and third, respectively, behind the United States in numbers of PCs in use, according to the Computer Industry Almanac.

Last week, Amelio hired Christopher Askew, who was vice president of Dell Services for Asia-Pacific and Japan, to lead Lenovo's new services business unit. Askew had worked for Dell since 1999 and oversaw Dell's services business in the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets.

Also hired away from Dell were:

  • David Schmoock, who will run Lenovo's new "Center of Excellence" unit. He had been vice president for marketing for Dell in the Asia Pacific/Japan region.
  • David Miller, to lead Lenovo's Asia Pacific operations
  • Sotaro Amano to lead Lenovo's Japan operations
  • Smith is a "seasoned executive in PC and peripherals supply-chain management, with a solid track record delivering in the areas that Lenovo is currently targeting for improvements, particularly serviceability and cost reductions," Amelio said in a statement. "He is a hard-charging, performance-oriented leader, with strong supply-base and general management experience and a wide network of personal connections with many leading suppliers that will be a great asset to Lenovo."

    Smith worked for Dell since 1994. His most recent position was vice president in charge of Dell's design center in Singapore. Smith will report directly to Amelio and be based in Japan.

    Liu Jun, who did run the global supply chain for Lenovo over the past year, is taking a one-year sabbatical, the company said. He joined Lenovo in 1993.

    Lenovo is building a new global headquarters in Morrisville.

    Dell's largest manufacturing facility is in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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