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Lenovo North America Interim President On The Change In Channel Chief, Resolving Pricing Concerns And Channel Investment In 2018

Lenovo executive Christian Teismann spoke with CRN at CES 2018 as the company launched an array of new products, including new PCs and smart devices.

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Teismann On The Record

It's been a busy week for Lenovo on several fronts. The company unveiled an array of new devices, including refreshed a ThinkPad X1 lineup and new smart devices, at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Lenovo also disclosed that Sammy Kinlaw is departing as vice president and channel chief for Lenovo's North America PC business as of Jan. 19. Lenovo has appointed a veteran of the company -- Rob Cato, executive director for public sector, workstation and OEM -- to serve in Kinlaw's role on an interim basis as Lenovo looks for a permanent channel chief.

Christian Teismann, who is the interim president for Lenovo North America, told CRN this week that Kinlaw's upcoming departure "doesn't change our commitment to the channel." Teismann also said that initial blowback from some partners about pricing changes in the fall has not persisted, now that contract pricing has been restored by Lenovo for partners on a case-by-case basis. "So far the feedback we have gotten after we worked through [the issues] with the channel partners is, in most of the cases, actually not as negative as sometimes it was portrayed to us," Teismann said.

Teismann discussed the latest channel changes, as well as investments and opportunities for Lenovo partners in 2018, with CRN during CES 2018. What follows is a portion of the conversation.

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