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Lenovo looking to ditch its own branding in favor of ‘Moto’

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Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility(minus the enormous number of patents) from Google for a meager $2.91 billion. Ever since the company has not only expanded the reach of its own smartphone business but also managed to make numerous ‘likeable’ changes to the Moto lineup as well.

But, the acquisition and merger of Motorola’s business into the Chinese company’s own mobile division hasn’t gone as planned, reports Campaign Asia. Much like every other merger, Lenovo has also been reluctant at organically merging one entity with another. Thus, the company is currently undergoing a corporate restructuring and making changes right at the very top of the leadership chain in its home ground China.

The aforementioned report from Campaign Asia states that Xudong Chen, who’s served the company as co-president and SVP of the brand’s Mobile Business Group (MBG) in stepping down from his role. He is said to be succeeded by Gina Qiao (乔健), formerly SVP of human resources.

Commenting on the restructing process, Lenovo’s chairman and CEO, Yang Yuanqing, says,

Despite her HR title, Qiao has previously headed up marketing in China and for many years was also chief strategy officer for the company; this background and insight form the ideal skill set to manage the mobile business.

In addition, Lenovo has also brought in a trio of new executives -Kirk Skaugen as EVP and president of data center group; Laura Quatela as chief legal officer and SVP; and Yong Rui as CTO and SVP. They will lead the transition of the company from a hardware giant to a consumer-oriented one. Lenovo now plans to introduce AI-powered devices and cloud services in the coming months.

The company has introduced these changes in its mobile business to enhance the marketing capacity of the brand in China — where it has underperformed as compared to overseas. And in a bid to further streamline its business and extend visibility, Lenovo is looking to forego of its own brand in the future. If the rumor mill is to be believed then the Chinese tech behemoth will completely switch and operate under the ‘Moto’ moniker from now onwards.

With this unexpected transition, Lenovo is hoping to better is slacking sales figures in Mainland China. In the current quarter, the sum total of Lenovo and Moto smartphone sold adde up to $2 billion which is a 12 percent decline when compared to the sales figures from last year.

However, this move from the company will further its cause in countries, like India, where the Moto moniker is more popular and preferred over Lenovo’s. The company’s shipments to India increased 15 percent year-over-year in this quarter, ended Sept’16 with Moto G leading the same with a 40 percent spike in shipments. The company has just recently also launched its premium Moto Z and Z Play smartphones, along with their Moto Mods in the country.

This switch in branding will also enable the company to take on other Chinese manufacturers who’re aggressively penetrating the Indian smartphone market for a share of the sweet pie. Will this be the end for Xiaomi or Oppo?

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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