Lenovo sends EMEA exec into metaphorical burning building

Pascal Bourguet asked to arrest sales slide in US PC biz

Lenovo is parachuting an EMEA exec into its North America computer division that has recorded year-on-year sales declines for the past six consecutive quarters.

Pascal Bourguet, who joined Lenovo from HP Inc in 2015 and most recently headed PC ops for EMEA, is new chief category officer across the pond, an internal memo seen by The Register has revealed.

Part of Bourguet's brief will be to "build and expedite the implementation of [a] fully staffed product and business category management team," said Lenovo North America president Matt Zielinski.

Zielinski – if we can correctly decipher his corporate speak – patted his new charge on the back for improving forecasting and increasing sales, profits and market share in EMEA. Clearly he has big hopes this will be replicated.

Bourget was heavily ensconced in Lenovo's channel reseller base in EMEA, so the company will want him to get up to speed quickly on the movers and shakers among the US channel middlemen.

The PC business under Bourget will, according to Zielinski's memo:

  • Build product expertise that can analyse the competitor's landscape, address market opportunities and white space, and help with the segment Business Unit to bring products that delight customers.
  • Organise the business planning ahead of the quarter, and also help to drive the execution during the quarter with the segment sales teams.
  • Emulate the passion for our products and operational excellence, and work cross functionally with sales, operations, finance and marketing.

These all seem like fundamental knobs to tweak; El Reg wonders what Lenovo's computer division in North America was doing up to now.

A bit of stability in the local US team might just help improve the top and bottom line – Zielinski is the sixth North America leader in as many years.

Lenovo is vying with HP and Dell for top spots in the global PC market, but in the US the Chinese titan hasn't grown since Q4 of 2016, according to Gartner stats.

Analyst Mikako Kitagawa told us via email that she suspected Lenovo needed to "revisit their North America strategy", which is what Bourguet may do.

"Lenovo’s weakness in North America came from the business market. This is very bad news for Lenovo as they were traditionally strong in [the] North America business market with [the] legacy ThinkPad brand. We believe that HP and Dell got so much more competitive in the business market while investing into sales and marketing, including channel partner program."

She believed there is a communication "disconnect between China HQ and US HQ" - a model set up when Lenovo bought IBM's PC division in 2004. ®

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