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Components & Peripherals News

Lenovo Purchases Secretive Switchbox Labs

Brian Kraemer

Joining the Lenovo team will be Switchbox co-founders Michael Sievert, Robert Dickinson and Blake Ramsdell. Sievert has been named a senior vice president at Lenovo and will report to CEO William Amelio.

Before co-founding Switchbox, Sievert was corporate vice president for Microsoft. The rest of Sievert's resume is impressive as well. Before his stint at Microsoft, he held senior management roles at AT&T Wireless and E*Trade Financial.

"Innovation is the lifeblood of our company, and despite the current challenges in the worldwide economy and PC industry, we are committed to investing in strategies and technologies that will help deliver exceptionally engineered products and services to our customers," Amelio said in a statement. "Switchbox Labs is doing some interesting work, and we are pleased that Switchbox and Mike are joining Lenovo."

Lenovo did not disclose the terms of the acquisition. What specific role Sievert and Switchbox Labs will be playing at Lenovo were not disclosed either. However, Switchbox, Lenovo said in a statement, is developing "new consumer technologies."

The PC manufacturer has been taking strides toward entering the consumer market to compete with competitors such as Dell and HP. Lenovo, whose ThinkPad brand of notebooks is well known after its 2004 purchase of the line from IBM, had a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

The feedback the company received on its IdeaPad line of machines at CES -- three notebooks and three desktop solutions -- has emboldened the company to make a hard push toward the consumer market, bringing a flavor of its worldwide sales strategy to the U.S.

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