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Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing Mourns Roderick Lappin’s Death

Lenovo CEO and chairman Yang Yuanqing says he will remember Roderick Lappin as an ‘outstanding leader and a dear friend.’

As the tributes flow in after the sudden passing of Lenovo’s Roderick Lappin, the company’s CEO and chairman Yang Yuanqing weighed in on Lappin’s “contagious” energy and passion.

“Rod was more than a respected colleague, he was an outstanding leader and a dear friend,” Yang posted on Twitter on Feb. 18. “His contagious energy, passion and humor will be greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend.”

Lappin, senior vice president and chief customer officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group, passed away suddenly on Feb. 14. The 47-year-old rose through the ranks over his 12-year tenure at the company and often provided keynotes on stage during Lenovo conferences and events.

 [Related: 10 Cool Scenes Inside Lenovo’s Data Center Executive Briefing Center]

Several other colleagues and friends posted similar memories of Lappin in response to Yang’s tweet.

“One of the greatest things about working at Lenovo was meeting people like Rod, learning from them, enjoying having them in our lives,” wrote Jeff Shafer, who was previously vice president of global communications for Lenovo. “A wonderful leader, magnetic human being. … Lenovo was lucky to have him, I was lucky to know him.”

Irene Acendo-Rico, executive director of Sales Enterprise Business Group for Lenovo in EMEA, wrote that Lappin was a “Fantastic human being. He will be highly missed by all of us in EMEA Data Center Group. RIP. #WeAreLenovo”

Lappin started at Lenovo in 2007 as a vice president responsible for sales, marketing and customer relationships in Asia Pacific and Japan. He quickly rose through the ranks over the years at Lenovo to become President of Asia Pacific, responsible for the company’s business in the region.

CRN reached out to several people who knew Lappin that described him as great mentor with a positive and energetic attitude.

“Everyone he came in contact with left with a smile on their face,” said Erin Bergamo, executive director of marketing and communications at Lenovo Data Center Group, who was hired by Lappin two years ago. “One of the things he always said was ‘keep smiling, keep smiling,’ even when times were tough. He always said in difficult situations, ‘Hate in, love out. Hate in, love out.’ He was my boss but he was my friend, even more than that. He really looked out for all of us – it didn’t matter what level or who you were, he engaged with everybody. It’s a big loss for all of us.”

In a statement to CRN last week, Lenovo said Lappin was an “outstanding leader, instrumental in so much of Lenovo’s success over the past years and a friend to us all. He will be dearly missed.”

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