Lenovo's new secret weapon: Hollywood star

Lenovo's new secret weapon: Hollywood star
Actor Ashton Kutcher, named Lenovo Group Ltd's product engineer, launches the company's Yoga Tablet at YouTube Space LA on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California.

Meet Lenovo Group Ltd's newest employee: American sitcom sensation Ashton Kutcher.

The world's largest personal computer maker said on Tuesday that the 35-year-old star is joining Lenovo as a product engineer.

His job is to help the company's young tablet team develop products that can compete with Apple Inc's iPad series.

Chief Marketing Officer David Roman said at a Los Angeles news conference that the actor/entrepreneur will provide input on design, specifications, software and usage scenarios.

Details of the contract weren't divulged.

The Beijing-based company also is likely to unveil an "AK" branded product next year, featuring Kutcher's design ideas, according to a person familiar with the project.

James Wang, an analyst at Shanghai-based consulting firm Canalys, said hiring Kutcher is a smart branding move.

"Lenovo is a company with global vision. It is quickly adopting marketing skills from overseas companies, and Kutcher will help the company boost brand awareness in developed markets," Wang said.

Lenovo is not the first tech company to hire a celebrity.

In January, BlackBerry Ltd hired pop singer Alicia Keys as global creative director. And US consumer electronics provider Polaroid Corp found Lady Gaga a similar spot on its design team.

But Kutcher probably is the most technology-savvy star in any electronics firm's employees.

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