Lenovo CEO steps down

From CNET News.com: Lenovo President and CEO William Amelio resigned Thursday after the Chinese PC maker reported a nearly $97 million loss for its fiscal third quarter.

Yang Yuanqing has relinquished his role as chairman to replace Amelio as CEO, effective Thursday, the company said in a statement filed with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. Yang will remain as an executive director and had served as the company's CEO until April 2005 when he was appointed board chairman.

The announcement comes at the end of Amelio's three-year contract with the company, Lenovo said, adding that Amelio will serve as a special advisor until September 30.

In a separate filing with the Hong Kong exchange, Lenovo reported losses of $96.7 million in its fiscal third quarter that ended December 31. That compares with $172.6 million profit in the same quarter a year earlier.

The PC maker said a market shift toward entry-level PCs, aggressive pricing and currency fluctuations had affected Lenovo's gross margin, which dipped to 9.8 percent year over year. Its gross profit fell 48 percent to $354 million.

Coupled with a decline in sales, the pressure on margins resulted in the third-quarter loss, the company said.

According to figures from IDC, the Asia-Pacific PC market registered its first year-over-year decline in a decade, where unit shipments in the final quarter of 2008 dipped by 5 percent to 17.2 million.

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