2 min read

New Lenovo boss facing tougher challenges

Ex-Ingram president Murray Wright takes over at Lenovo Canada and must quickly address brand, channel, product and competitive issues

Well, it did not take Murray Wright long to land a significant job in the IT industry in Canada.Unless you have been under a rock, most readers know Wright was recently named president of Lenovo Canada, and I believe he has taken on a more challenging job than his previous one at Ingram Micro Canada.
Wright has been long respected in the channel for doing excellent work and achieving high results. Ingram Micro Canada under his watch was a $2 billion revenue generator. That’s an impressive figure because it is coming from a subsidiary, not the actual parent firm.
But at Lenovo Canada, Wright faces tougher challenges. The first is brand awareness. Sure, he has the resources of a $14 billion company behind him, but building a brand isn’t something you do overnight with whiz-bang marketing.
Brand is built over time, and, in my opinion, built from the street up. This is where Wright’s 22-years of channel experience will help.
Another concern is Lenovo’s 65 per cent indirect business. This is too low for the channel’s liking. IBM over the years had to deal with a lot of channel conflict and Lenovo has to make strides in this area.
Heather Ross, the former president of Lenovo Canada, recognized this and said to CDN in a previous interview that the 65 per cent figure had to dramatically increase.
I think that if Lenovo Canada reaches 75 per cent indirect business within 12 months the channel should be pleased.
There is no reason to think that Wright won’t accomplish this since he is a long-time channel advocate.
His other challenge is extending Lenovo’s product range in Canada. Currently, its offering can be counted on one hand: ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre systems and ThinkVantage monitors. But in the U.S. Lenovo sells projectors and handheld devices. While in New York recently Lenovo showed me a fantastic-looking home entertainment system with VoIP phone and wireless connectivity to digital services.

Quick planning
Wright will have to quickly devise a plan to bring these new products to market before his competitors do.
The last challenge I see is that some big companies are gunning for Lenovo Canada. Hewlett-Packard and Dell have already gone public with this. They believe there is an opportunity to take away some of IBM’s old marketshare. Also gunning for Lenovo will be Acer, Toshiba, LG Electronics and a number of other vendors who will bring up all these issues.
So I congratulate Wright. He is a quality individual and a highly skilled executive and he’ll need it.