Rozanovich visited Elon on Wednesday, Sept. 6, as part of the Lessons from Leaders series at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.
With society and industry zeroed in on how artificial intelligence is making major changes to daily life, technology giant Lenovo is a leader in exploring innovative and game-changing solutions to improve productivity and efficiency.
And on Wednesday, Elon University hosted a top Lenovo executive as he shared what he’s seeing in Lenovo’s approach to crafting those solutions, and how students can prepare for a rapidly-changing business landscape. With more than 63,000 employees that serve customers in 180 global markets, Lenovo has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies.
Vlad Rozanovich was named senior vice president of Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group in June after serving as the company’s North American president since 2021. He joined Lenovo after more than two decades with American semiconductor company AMD, and has led Lenovo during a time when technology is becoming more deeply integrated into industry and into everyday life.
Speaking with students, faculty and staff in LaRose Digital Theatre as part of the business school’s Lessons from Leaders series, Rozanovich fielded questions from students, many of which focused on how business is adapting to the growth in a broad range of artificial intelligence capabilities. He acknowledged that this period of time presents both challenges and opportunities.
“It’s hard in the age of AI to know what is truth, and what is trained,” Rozanovich said in a discussion moderated by Associate Professor of Management Scott Hayward.
Rozanovich said there is excitement at Lenovo about how they can leverage these technologies to the benefit of their customers and consumers. He shared an example of how Lenovo helped a restaurant chain use new technologies to identify repeat drive-through customers and tap into their order histories to begin preparing food based on what they were likely to order again. He pointed to a grocery store chain that is using artificial intelligence integrated into cameras with the help of Lenovo to identify product theft. The technology ensures that when a UPC code is scanned, the captured image of the scanned product matches up with the product associated with the UPC code.
Blockchain technology is another area that industry is tapping into from a quality control standpoint to determine potential manufacturing defects. Lenovo faced a lawsuit over a fire related to a battery in one of its laptops, and was able to use blockchain, an innovative system to record transactions that is maintained across a network of computers, to trace back the details of the parts and process through which that specific laptop was constructed to help identify the cause.
“The utilization of technology like blockchain analytics is really transforming industries,” Rozanovich told those gathered in LaRose.
Despite changes in what technologies businesses and industries are using and how they are using them, Rozanovich advised students to maintain their primary focus on core disciplines such as marketing and finance as they pursue careers in business and layer on top of those classes that help educate them about the power of AI and how it may impact their chosen fields. He takes a different view from those who predict that a rise of AI will mean an overall loss of employment opportunities.
“We’re a technology company,” Rozanovich said. “We believe as jobs are being replaced by AI, new jobs are going to create new opportunities to enhance productivity and efficiency.”
Among the lessons Rozanovich shared were those he offered in a TikTok video recorded while he was attending a Formula One race and which was played for the crowd on Wednesday — “Appreciate what you do every day. Care about your friends. Care about your employees. Care about your coworkers. Make sure you tell people you appreciate them because it goes a long way.”
Business Fellow Nathaniel Lerman ’25 said he appreciated hearing about Rozanovich’s professional journey and the insights he has gained along the way.
“For instance, he told us that when you experience a setback, it is okay to embrace the disappointment in the moment, but that it is vital that you do not dwell on it,” Lerman said after the discussion. “He also told us that as we start our careers, our focus should be not on remembering our challenges, but rather the lessons and growth that came as a result. I am grateful that Elon not only prepares us academically for our future but also provides personal opportunities, like this one, for us to learn from giants in our chosen careers.”
The discussion in LaRose Digital Theatre was just one stop on Rozanovich’s visit to Elon. He spent time meeting and talking with Elon Business Fellows in the Koury Business Center before joining President Connie Ledoux Book in a tour of Founders Hall, one of the newest buildings in Elon’s Innovation Quad that opened in fall 2022.
Nancy Wilkins, a Business Fellow in the Class of 2025, said she enjoyed meeting with Rozanovich and members of his team during their visit, which she said offered her an opportunity to share with them about what a special place Elon is as well as to learn from their experiences. “He taught me some of his tips for effective public speaking, such as selecting a few key points to emphasize and weaving them into a story to keep the audience’s attention while helping them connect with and understand the main takeaways,” Wilkins said.
Rozanovich concluded his visit to campus with a reception following the discussion in LaRose.