When A Kid Born In Poverty Leads World’s Largest Tech Firm: Success Marathon of Yang Yuanqing, CEO, Lenovo


In a period when a laptop or a PC is quintessential for every person, organization and home, it is not an obvious task to fight with all the huge computer makers of the world and become one of the best.

But for the CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing, that wasn’t a difficult task. Today, the China-based tech major Lenovo is the world’s biggest personal computer huckster.

Born to a pair of surgeons, Yang subsisted a life of poverty as his parents were massively underpaid in the cultural revolution-era of the 60’s.

Yet, they wanted him to study medicine and become a surgeon. Qing, however, took an offbeat path and decided that he will be studying computer science when a close family friend insinuated it. He then went on to finish his undergraduate and graduate studies in computer science as his major.

Yang then joined Lenovo, which was known as a tech titan in those days. He held up the position of a salesman for a very slender salary after giving up another job as a professor at a university.

For a 25-year-old Yang, it was a very prompt climb up the ladder after that. He was promoted really soon and was apprehended for his outstanding sales record in the company.

He then wanted to leave to the United States and study business for obtaining the exposure to world businesses. But the chairman of Lenovo, Liu Chuanzhi did not let him go away as he thought that the company really needed him. So he stayed.

Shortly after that, he was appointed by Liu to head the personal computers business at Lenovo only when 29 years old.

Yang then vaulted to the rank of a CEO in the year 2001 when Liu Chanzhi retired. Lenovo wasn’t as big as it is today, but thanks to his excellent managerial and sales skills, the brand went on to become huge and began to compete with companies like Microsoft by the year 2005.

By 2013, Lenovo was the world’s largest producer of personal computers still under the chairmanship of Yan Yuan Qing.The ambitious Yang Yuanqing, however, has bigger dreams. He wants Lenovo to grow in PC plus, mobile phones and tablets as well, which is what the team is focusing on at the moment.

YuanQing’s journey from a salesman to the CEO is indeed inspiring and has a lot of lessons for all the younger entrepreneurs and businessmen.

His rise wasn’t a quarter litre sprint but a steady marathon, as his growth is substantial and continuing. He had been aggressive and smart both at the same time at work and has proved his mettle in every field that he signed up for. And under Yang’s authority, Lenovo now only gets bigger with each day passing by.