China’s Lenovo Group (PINK:LNVGY) said Jerry Yang, co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) will be an “observer” on its board of directors, although he won’t have a vote at meetings.
The Chinese consumer electronics giant, which is engaged in a neck-and-neck battle with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) to be the world’s top PC maker, announced the appointment in a week when Mandiant, a security firm hired by New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT) released a sensational reporting alleging units of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were conducting massive cyber attacks on U.S. companies.
Lenovo, which already has seven foreigners among its 11 directors, said Yang’s appointment “furthers Lenovo’s reputation as a transparent international company.” The 44-year-old native of Taiwan will receive $61,785 in cash as well as equity rights for shares valued at $135,000 a year.
“I am honored,” by the appointment, said Yang, who was CEO of Yahoo from 2007 to 2009 of the Sunnyvale, Calif., company he co-founded in 1995 with fellow Stanford University computer science graduate student David Filo. “I look forward to leveraging my past experience as a technology entrepreneur to provide advice as Lenovo looks at new areas of growth.”
Lenovo acquired the PC business of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) in 2005 and works closely with IBM in China for enterprise sales. The company is also a major manufacturer of tablets, TVs and smartphones, where it has close ties to Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM).
Other non-Chinese former technology executives are Lenovo directors, including Nobyuki Idei, former CEO of Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE), and William Tudor Brown, the former COO of ARM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ARMH), the principal chip designer for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Shares of Lenovo fell 16 cents to $21.94 in early Thursday trading. They have gained nearly 20 percent since Jan. 2.