Lenovo Exec Shake-Up: Jay Parker Named Global Enterprise VP

Lenovo revealed Thursday a major reshuffle of its executive team and named former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci as corporate president of Lenovo effective April 1. Lenovo also announced the promotion of Gerry Smith to executive vice president and chief operating officer, in addition to the promotion of former president of North America Jay Parker, who now becomes Lenovo's senior vice president, Enterprise Business Group.

Parker is now responsible for the company's server and storage business, along with 2,500 Lenovo engineers and developers.

"You have seen Lenovo go through tremendous change over the past 12 months and now we are set up to be a technology leader moving forward," said Parker. "My role now is to make sure we are a leader here in North America but with our enterprise business around the world."

[Related: Lenovo's Kinlaw Promoted To North American Channel Chief ]

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The executive shake-up at Lenovo comes on the heels of the company creating an Enterprise Business Group earlier this year, and also amid a changing of the Lenovo channel partner leadership from Chris Frey to Sammy Kinlaw, who was recently promoted to North American Channel Chief.

Lenovo partners said the move couldn't have come any sooner, and is an important first step for the Chinese PC giant to begin to focus on more lucrative IT sales.

"I'm happy to see Lenovo making the right moves to embrace the future of IT," said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president, North America for Lumenate, a Dallas-based national solution provider and Lenovo partner. "Lenovo is trying to move away from its commodity PC identity. With System x and a mission to gain market share, Lenovo needs to disrupt themselves and bring in new blood and new ideas to transform their business."

Key to Parker’s new enterprise server and storage drive, he said, is ’dramatically increase’ the number of Lenovo partners that can sell its growing portfolio that now includes PC and System x servers.

"I don’t believe that the current number of partners we have is sufficient enough to drive the growth that we want," Parker said. "Our goal is grow share within the current partner network, but it’s also to grow the overall numbers of partners so we can keep up with the growth we aspire to.’

Parker also said part of his enterprise sales drive will be winning more midmarket server business. "We are No. 1 in SAP HANA. However, [System x] has been largely absent when it comes to mainstream servers and workloads. That represents over half of the market opportunity here in North America."

Parker said that PC, storage, and now a larger catalog of servers, gives channel partners new opportunities to earn better margins.

"The PC and server markets have become commoditized," Shepard said. "More of my business is moving away from hardware and moving to a more software-defined world. Lenovo is moving to a place where their servers will be the hardware of choice to run the software defined data center."

Lenovo also announced Thursday it would realign its geographic structure, splitting what used to be its Americas Group into a Latin America group (headed by Luca Rossi) and a North America group with Lanci at the helm as Lenovo looks for a ’permanent leader." In addition, it revealed Tom Shell will be promoted to senior vice president of its PC Business Group, and that Johnson Jia is now senior vice president of PC and the Enterprise Business Group global operations.