Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers, is planning to create a new Americas division to sharpen focus on Latin American markets.
North America operations president Gerry Smith is to oversee the enlarged division starting on April 1, the company said in an internal e-mail to employees on Friday that was confirmed by Lenovo spokesman Jeffrey Shafer. The Beijing-based PC maker’s Latin America business had been grouped with the Asia-Pacific region under Milko Van Duijl.
The new setup will smooth operations as employees in South America will no longer need to coordinate decisions with Asia-based managers in different time zones. Lenovo has also announced plans for a new computer factory in Brazil and bought a local maker of PCs, smartphones and tablets as economic growth spurs demand.
“Geographic alignment makes management easier and more effective for all of our leaders and for their teams,” Lenovo said in the e-mail. “We are confident that the efficiency benefits of this change will be significant.”
Latin America and Brazil accounted for the majority of a 1.6 percent decline in third-quarter sales at the Asia-Pacific and Latin America business, Lenovo’s chief financial officer Wong Wai Ming (黃偉明) said in an earnings conference call on Jan. 30.
The US$147 million acquisition of Digibras, the maker of CCE-brand PCs, “will help accelerate our expansion in the country,” Wong said in the call.
The purchase, completed last month, doubled Lenovo’s PC market share in Brazil and boosted its sales ranking to third from seventh.
Lenovo in July announced plans to spend US$30 million building a computer factory and a distribution center in Itu, in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. The unit will have as many as 700 employees in two years, when it’s expected to reach maximum capacity, Lenovo said at the time.
In the October-to-December quarter, Lenovo reported a 34 percent jump in profit after increasing its market share and boosting smartphone sales.
Net income climbed to US$204.9 million in the quarter, from US$153.5 million a year earlier. PC shipments rose 8 percent in the period, the only increase among the world’s four biggest suppliers, as it boosted North American consumer sales amid slowing global demand.