Lenovo-IBM: Bridging Cultures, Languages, and Time Zones An Audacious Deal (A)

Günter Stahl, Kathrin Köster

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper


The case describes the audacious acquisition of an American icon, IBM, by a Chinese computer manufacturer, Lenovo. The time frame spans from the pre-merger time until a few months after the IBM deal. In 2005, when Lenovo was the ninth largest PC maker in the world, it acquired IBM's PC business to become a global player in the PC industry. The case offers background information on the development of Lenovo, describes the Chinese company's approach to establish itself in the global market, and contrasts the pre-merger cultures of Lenovo and IBM. A chronological depiction of how this deal came about highlights potential synergies but draws attention to various socio-cultural integration challenges to come. Will a company that grew in a communist system, is partly state-owned, and until the merger sold exclusively in China succeed in the leap to managing a global US-centric business?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameWU Case Series

Bibliographical note

Updated version

WU Working Paper Series

  • WU Case Series

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