Lenovo Hires AMD Veteran As President For North America Biz
A longtime @AMD executive is joining @Lenovo as its North America president, effective Feb. 12, as the company faces steep challenges for its PC business along with a recent overhaul to its channel program structure. @MatthewZielinski, who had previously spent 12 years at chip maker @AMD in sales leadership positions, will have responsibility over Lenovo’s PC and Smart Devices division in North America, Lenovo announced. [Related: Lenovo North America Interim President On The Change In Channel Chief, Resolving Pricing Concerns And Channel Investment In 2018] Lenovo’s previous North America president, Emilio Ghilardi, had stepped down in August, and was succeeded on an interim basis by senior vice president Christian Teismann. The appointment of Zielinski also follows the departure of Sammy Kinlaw as vice president and channel chief for Lenovo’s North America PC business on Jan. 19. Kinlaw departed for a worldwide channel role at Lexmark, and has been succeeded on an interim basis by Rob Cato, Lenovo’s executive director for public sector, workstation and OEM. Zielinski had most recently served as corporate vice president of OEM sales at AMD, where he helped oversee sales to Lenovo. “Matt will bring deep customer and partner relationships to Lenovo that will help us drive continued improvements in customer experience, growth and profitability,” Lenovo said in a statement. Lenovo is in the midst of a tough battle with other PC makers in the North American market, while facing pressure from the decline of traditional PCs as well as increasing costs for memory and other components. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Lenovo’s U.S. PC shipments plunged 23.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. That kept Lenovo in fourth place in terms of U.S. PC market share, behind HP Inc., Dell and Apple. Lenovo had been surpassed by Apple in U.S. market position in the third quarter of 2017. Lenovo, however, is continuing to release new PCs at an aggressive pace, including refreshing its premium ThinkPad X1 lineup earlier in January. In October of last year, Lenovo made what Kinlaw went on to term a “drastic change” in its channel program structure in a bid to make conditions more equitable for reseller partners. Some solution providers have told CRN that the program changes have negatively impacted partner profitability on enterprise contracts.
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