On Tuesday Lenovo (News - Alert) appointed Ashton Kutcher as its new product engineer. Lenova states that Kutcher will aid in both developing and marketing Lenovo products.
Kutcher is best known for his starring roles in TV shows such as “That ‘70s Show” and “Two and a Half Men.” He also recently starred in the biopic “Jobs" playing Apple’s (News - Alert) late leader. Kutcher, however brings more to the table than a resume of hit shows and a pretty face. Kutcher has a degree in biochemical engineering from the University of Iowa. He also has a successful track record in his tech investments. Prior to taking this position with Lenova, he worked closely with Apple and Google (News - Alert).
A Lenovo spokesperson says that. Kutcher “will work with the company’s engineering teams around the world to develop and market the Yoga line of tablets by providing input and decision-making into design, specifications, software and usage scenarios.”
In a statement given to USA Today, Kutcher said, "It's somewhat of a dual role. Lenovo makes really, really, really good hardware. I hope to make their products as consumer friendly as possible.”
After appearing at an event to announce his new position, Kutcher boarded a plane to China for a meeting with Lenova engineers and executives.
Ashton Kutcher is not the first celebrity Lenova has hired. NBA standout Kobe Bryant was hired earlier in the year for an ad campaign to promote the K900 smartphone. Lenovo states that Kutcher’s role is nothing like any other celebrity that they have had on its payroll.
“Ashton will be actually coming into our labs and attending meetings with our engineers,” said a Lenovo spokesman.
The partnership comes with risks for both sides. "If you look at my career, what's constant is I like to take risks — so does Lenovo," Kutcher said. "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership.”
It’s true, Kutcher is not new to risk or investments. He is the co-founder of A-Grade Investments, which has invested in Airbnb, Foursquare (News - Alert), Spotify, Path, Uber and others.
David Roman, chief marketing officer at Lenova says, "This partnership goes beyond traditional bounds by deeply integrating him into our organization as a product engineer. Ashton will help us break new ground by challenging assumptions, bringing new perspective and contributing his technical expertise to Yoga Tablet and other devices."
Lenova has not disclosed how much it is paying Mr. Kutcher for his role.
Edited by Blaise McNamee