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Lenovo’s former VP to lead Xiaomi’s smartphone business

New year, new job.

India accounting for % of Xiaomi's total revenue. Photo:Shutterstock.com

Chang Cheng, former vice president (VP) of Lenovo and head of its Chinese smartphone unit, has been appointed on January 1st as the new VP of Xiaomi, where it will be responsible for mobile phone product planning, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun said on his official Sina Weibo on Thursday morning.

Xiaomi’s announcement comes just two days after Chang officially announced his exit from Lenovo on Weibo, partly confirming previous market rumors about Chang’s resignation on December 18, the same day when Lenovo’s legendary founder Liu Chuanzhi retired. In an announcement, Lenovo said the veteran, who served in Lenovo for 19 years, would leave the company “for health and family reasons.”

“We just hired a high-level manager. Chang Cheng has a rich experience in the consumer electronics sector,” Lei wrote in an official statement, also welcoming the new year and the upcoming company’s 10th-anniversary celebration. “We are eager to recruit more talents from all industries globally, as long as they sincerely agree with Xiaomi’s enterprise value and have outstanding skills,” Lei added.

“On the first working day of 2020, we welcome @Chang Cheng to join Xiaomi as Xiaomi’s VP, where will also be in charge of smartphone production organization,” Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun wrote on Weibo. Chang soon reposted: “Officially announced! Working hard for dreams! Excited!” Source: Weibo screenshot.

In 2000, Chang joined Lenovo as R&D director for its notebook business unit. He was later named as CEO of Lenovo smartphone subsidiary ZUK Mobile in 2015, and appointed as head of Lenovo China’s smartphone unit in 2018 where he was in charge of product organization, development, and management. According to local media Cailianshe, Chang did not sign a non-compete agreement with his old company.

Chang acquired fame on social media for his frequent posts promoting Lenovo’s smartphone brand, also comparing his company’s new smartphone models with other competitors. Earlier in December, Chang pointed directly to Xiaomi’s flagship model Xiaomi 8 to promote its new Z5s, suggesting that every function of the Z5s is better than the rival. Only a few days later, Chang apologized on Weibo and sent congratulations to Lei on his birthday.

In the Xiaomi’s 2020 New Year Letter, Lei has reiterated the company’s emphasis on “5G + AIoT,” and promised to invest at least RMB 50 billion in the implementation of this strategy in the next five years.