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February 20, 2013

Lenovo Adds Yahoo Cofounder as Board Observer

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Seeking helpful advice as it begins further massive expansion into the mobile market, PC manufacturer Lenovo (News - Alert) Group today added Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang as an observer to its board of directors. As an observer, Yang will not hold voting rights, or any of the other rights of a director, but will attend board meetings and provide his views.

Yang cofounded Yahoo in April 1995 and served as chief executive of the company from June 2007 through to January 2009. He resigned from Yahoo's board last year, as well as the boards of ecommerce and online payment company Alibaba Group Holding and Yahoo Japan.

Lenovo will pay Yang a salary of $61,875 per year, also offering equity rights valued at $135,000 for his position on the board.

Lenovo currently sits as the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in China, shipping 9.4 million phones, nine million of which were smartphones, in its October to December third quarter. The company is clearly serious about further expanding into the profitable mobile business as it made a number of announcements today regarding its intentions to sell smartphones and tablets in different areas of the world, namely Thailand and Kenya.

In the case of Thailand, the plan is to begin releasing smartphones as well as low cost tablets in the country's flourishing education table PC market. After entering the mobile market in Thailand this year, Lenovo will then apparently shift into the Indonesian market.

In the case of Kenya, Lenovo general manager for East Africa Shamir Jaffer, along with other key Lenovo personnel, held a media briefing declaring that the company plans to increase its mobile market share to 10 percent by April from its 8.6 percent currently.

The majority of Lenovo's Kenyan expansion seems to revolve around the release of a new range of Android (News - Alert)-based tablets over the next month, followed by Windows 8 tablets to be released in April.

Edited by Braden Becker
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