Lenovo's Revolving Door: 5 Execs Who Have Held The North America President Role Since 2012

Emilio's Reign

When it was announced last week that Emilio Ghilardi was stepping down as Lenovo's North America president, is was both surprising and not surprising.

Ghilardi, who joined Lenovo in mid-2015 as COO, was in the president's chair for less than a year and a half, and had in recent months expressed confidence in the long-term strategies he had developed and the new channel-focused executive team he had formed since taking the China-based company's top North America job.

Ghilardi is the fifth executive to have held the North America president position in the past five years. All but one have moved on from the company. Here's a rundown.

Aymar de Lencquesaing

With Ghilardi's departure, Aymar de Lencquesaing is the only executive to hold the North America president position at Lenovo and remain with the company after leaving that job. De Lencqesaing was made North America president in an early 2015 management overhaul, around the same time Ghilardi came aboard as COO. He held the position for about a year before taking a job as chairman and president of Lenovo's Motorola Mobility unit, a move that cleared the way for Ghilardi to become North America president.

Emilio Ghilardi

Emilio Ghilardi joined Lenovo not long after the company's $2.3 billion acquisition of IBM's x86 server business. Before taking the COO post at Lenovo, he had a more than 20-year run at Hewlett-Packard that was broken only by a three-year stint as chief sales officer at chip maker AMD. As North America president, Ghilardi formulated a strategy that sought to differentiate the company from competitors HPE, Dell EMC and Cisco by arguing Lenovo could innovate more freely and move more quickly into software-defined technology because it is not weighed down by large, legacy product lines. In his last three months on the job, he ceded control of the company's Data Center Group to new Data Center Group President Kirk Skaugen, but retained direct control of the company's PC business.

David Schmoock

David Schmoock spent about six years at Lenovo, including an eight-month stint as North America president in 2012. Before taking on that role, Schmoock was North America senior vice president and general manager of the company's "mature" markets group. In late 2012, Schmoock bolted for Dell, first as president of end-user computing sales and last May as president of North America commercial sales.

Gerry Smith

Gerry Smith took over as North America president when Schmoock left, and bounced around to a couple of different Lenovo business units before taking the CEO job at Office Depot last January. After his time as North America president at Lenovo, Smith was head of the company's Data Center Group for about two years before becoming COO and head of the PC and mobile devices business in order to make way for Kirk Skaugen to become president of the Data Center Group. Smith was only atop the PC and mobile device group for three months before taking the Office Depot gig.

Jay Parker

Jay Parker was North America president for two years between 2013 and 2015, and it was during his tenure that Lenovo became the world's largest PC vendor, a status that has been under serious threat recently as HP Inc. and Dell close in. In all, Parker was at Lenovo for nearly 10 years, and was vice president of Americas operations, and vice president and general manager of North America consumer and SMB before stepping into the president's role. Ghilardi became North America president when Parker took a position as senior vice president of Lenovo's global enterprise business group, a position he held for just five months before leaving for Dell, where he is now president of the global compute and networking group.