Lenovo CEO and Chairman Yang Yuanqing. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Zach Coleman, USA TODAY
The chief executive of Lenovo Group Ltd., which recently overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. to become the world's largest producer of personal computers, is sharing his annual bonus with his staff.
Angela Lee, a spokeswoman in Hong Kong for Lenovo, best known in the U.S. for acquiring IBM Corp.'s ThinkPad laptop brand and the rest of its PC business in 2005, confirmed that Yang Yuanqing, who is also Lenovo's chairman, will share $3.25 million from his bonus with some 10,000 staff in China and 19 other countries.
Lenovo maintains dual headquarters in Beijing and in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, the base of IBM's old PC operations, and Yang splits his time between the two. The company has some 30,000 staff worldwide, according to its website.
Lee said that 8,500 to 9,000 of the staff who will receive bonuses are in China, with the rest in the U.S., Japan and other countries. All will receive the same amount and all hourly manufacturing staff will receive a payment.
"As you can imagine, an extra $300 in a manufacturing environment in China does make an impact, especially to employees supporting families," Lee said.
In its annual review last year, Lenovo raised Yang's base pay to $1.2 million and awarded him a $4.2 million discretionary bonus and a $8.9 million long-term incentive award. Yang owns 7.12% of Lenovo's shares, equivalent to about $720 million in stock.
"Such a good humane boss, are you jealous?" read a message on the company's official feed on China's Sina Weibo microblogging service.
Lenovo sales overtook those of HP, which had been the top manufacturer of personal computers for at least seven years, during the April-June quarter according to tracking reports by IDC and Gartner, though its sales, like those of other producers, actually fell.
As consumer tastes have shifted toward smartphones and tablets, Lenovo has been beefing up its offerings in those product lines. Thanks to rapid sales growth, it became the world's fourth-largest producer of smartphones and tablets in the last quarter, according to IDC.
Yang has expressed interest in further growth by acquisition and the company is speculated to be considering deals with struggling smartphone producers BlackBerry Ltd. and HTC Corp.
Yang "believes that he has the responsibility as an owner of the company and the opportunity as our leader to ensure all of our employees understand the impact they have on building Lenovo," said a company memo on the bonuses quoted by Bloomberg News.