Former Acer CEO to lead Lenovo's PC Group after operations shakeup

Lenovo's PC and Smart Devices Group will be led by Gianfranco Lanci, who led Acer through good and bad times

Lenovo has restructured its operations as part of a management shakeup, and some interesting names have been promoted.

Former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci, who is Lenovo's Group president and chief operating officer, is now in charge of Lenovo's PC and Smart Devices Group, previously known as the PC Group. Lanci joined Lenovo in 2012 after he was fired from Acer in late 2011 over disagreements about product strategy with the company's board. Acer then sued Lanci for allegedly violating a non-compete clause.

Lanci led Acer through profitable times during a boom in netbook sales. But Acer's fortunes fell when netbook shipments nosedived after the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010, and the company has since struggled. Now Lanci will lead the development of Lenovo's venerable PCs, including ThinkPad, and tablets. He'll also be in charge of developing smart devices for the Internet of Things.

Lenovo's Mobile Business Group will remain intact, but has new leaders in Xudong Chen and Aymar de Lencquesaing, who will serve as presidents. Rick Osterloh, formerly president of Motorola, which was acquired by Lenovo in 2014, has resigned from the company. Chen previously led Lenovo's mobile efforts in China and de Lencquesaing led Lenovo's North American operations.

Also switching roles is Peter Hortensius, who is now CTO of the Data Center Group, which was previously known as the Enterprise Business Group. Hortensius was previously a company-wide CTO, and he guided the company out of a scandal after Superfish adware was found in Lenovo laptops. He's been the force behind bringing new technologies to PCs and mobile devices but now will apply those skills to advance enterprise hardware like servers.

The Data Center Group will continue to be led by Gerry Smith, president of the unit.

Lenovo also formed a new group called the Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, which will focus on supplementing its mobile devices with cloud and other services. The company already offers cloud services through its earlier Stoneware acquisition, and bundles apps like ReachIt so users can access cloud files with mobile devices and PCs.

The changes will take effect on April 1.

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