Lenovo says it is looking for 12,000 employees in research and development (R&D) roles.
Chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang set out the company’s vision for the coming years at the start of the new fiscal year. He said R&D remains a critical priority for Lenovo, and last year reiterated a promise from the PC maker that it would double spending in the segment over the next three years.
The Sino-US company increased its research and development spending from $1,336 billion in 2020 to $1,454 billion in 2021. The highest reported year for R&D spending was 2016. [PDF]when it was $1,491 billion in spending.
In October last year, Lenovo controversially withdrew its IPO from the Star Market in Shanghai. While it has not explained the reason for the removal of the home listing, tightened updated rules would have required, among other things, that the number of R&D employees made up at least 10 percent of the total number of employees in any given year. According to a report in SCMP in late 2021, the new listing requirements contributed to the withdrawal.
We asked Lenovo for comment, but it did not answer this specific question.
As part of today’s announcement, Yuanqing said Lenovo aims to hire 12,000 R&D professionals around the world over the same three-year period. -Edge-Cloud network intelligence.”
“My vision for Lenovo’s innovation is to become one of the world’s leading ICT companies, a pioneer and driver of intelligent transformation,” he said in a statement. “Our investment plan will focus on the ‘Client-Edge-Cloud-Network-Intelligence’ architecture, with a three-pronged approach to focus on short, medium and long-term payback. Our intention is to optimize between technology with fast market return and fundamental research, and between continuous improvement and breakthrough innovation.”
We asked Lenovo what this meant, and a spokesperson told us that Client, Edge, Cloud, Network and Intelligence are the five pillars of the company’s R&D focus, and that there are short, medium and long term goals for each of those. pillars.
Some goals may seem a bit vague: on Client, for example, Lenovo wants to improve the user experience through the use of new technologies and new materials. About Edge, however, Lenovo said it plans to develop the Lenovo Edge Computing platform with multi-access edge computing (MEC), lightweight virtualization and “device-edge cloud” collaborative intelligent management.
For Cloud, Lenovo said it wants to “continue the leadership in HPC system architecture design and liquid cooling” and develop hybrid/multi-cloud management technology. In the network pillar, the company will focus on 5G and cloud network convergence, while for the intelligence pillar, Lenovo’s goals are around driving big data and AI platform development and a focus on vertical solutions such as smart cities and smart manufacturing.
Lenovo’s investment proposals follow some record PC sales for the company in 2021, when shipments reached 82.142 million, benefiting from lockdowns that forced people to work, learn and play from home.
The data center and infrastructure division has also taken shape: In the most recent quarter of Lenovo’s fiscal 2022, it turned a profit for the first time since it acquired IBM’s x86 server business in 2014./ However, Lenovo still lags far behind leaders such as Dell and HPE in terms of server and storage revenue.
A Lenovo spokesperson told us the new hires were part of Lenovo’s “wider strategy to focus on solutions and services — not just devices.”
Lenovo also outlined its vision to become a net-zero company by 2050, saying it is working with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to establish targets that support it. SBTi is a partnership between the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the CDP, which operates the global disclosure system that helps organizations manage their impact on the environment.
The company claims it has exceeded its 2020 emissions reduction targets a year ahead of schedule and has already set science-backed targets for 2030. Those interested can follow how the company is doing in its latest environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports.