IBM’s deal, announced yesterday, to sell its personal computer operations to China’s Lenovo is completely fascinating. As others have observed, it represents a serious attempt by a formerly parochial Chinese manufacturer to go global–and by IBM to crack the huge Chinese market.
But consider this, too: Lenovo will relocate its headquarters from Beijing to New York City. Some 40% of the IBM PC workforce already is in China; this likely will grow. The head of IBM’s PC biz, Stephen M. Ward Jr., will become its CEO, and other IBM managers will stay on, as well. (Lenovo’s current Chinese chief, Yang Yuanqing, will move up to chairman.) And IBM will own 18% of the company.
Talk about a mongrel corporation. This is the future of global business.