Bill Amelio Talks Strategy before Departing as Lenovo CEO

During the World Economic Forum at Davos, which ended February 1, Wharton management professor Michael Useem interviewed Bill Amelio, then CEO of the Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group, about the company’s strategy for dealing with the current downturn in the computer industry and in global markets overall. On February 5, Lenovo announced that chairman Yang Yuanqing would replace Amelio as CEO, and that co-founder Liu Chuanzhi would become board chairman. Lenovo joins a list of other high-technology companies – including Apple and Dell — whose founders have, at one point, stepped away from the CEO role, only to return to that position several years later during particularly challenging times in the industry. Amelio, who previously headed up Dell’s Asia-Pacific operations, was appointed CEO of Lenovo in 2005, shortly after the company acquired IBM’s personal computer business. Below is an edited version of the conversation with Amelio.

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