Alicia Keys has been the creative director of BlackBerry. Shakira was named T-Mobile collaborator last month. And now the latest celebrity tech hire? Ashton Kutcher is now a product engineer at Lenovo.
Kutcher announced his new role Tuesday evening and also unveiled Lenovo's latest Android tablet, the Yoga, which has a unique hinge and 18 hours of battery life.
Kutcher, a longtime technology investor and self-professed techie, said this is more than just a celebrity marketing move. Of course, it is partially that -- Lenovo would not divulge the financial terms of the partnership -- but Kutcher was very clear that he plans to do more at Lenovo than just pose in advertisements. In fact, he heads to China today to meet with their teams. He said he has become an Android convert and is already testing an unreleased Lenovo phone.
Congrats on the new position. Can you tell me a bit about how you were hired?
Have you actually spent any time with the R&D teams?
What is your first order of business?
Celebrity executive roles have become a bit of joke in the tech industry. Is this a bigger role than, let's say, Alicia Keys had as the creative director at BlackBerry?
I've had the benefit to work with guys like Daniel Ek [CEO of Spotify], Jack Dorsey, Shawn Parker, Shawn Fanning [founders of Napster] -- some of the greatest product minds -- and I hope some of their brilliance has rubbed off.
|"I already feel my day-to-day devices shifting over to Android-based products."|
You recently played Steve Jobs and said you have been an Apple fan. Will you be giving up your iPad for a Lenovo Yoga?
I already have. And I actually replaced my mobile phone today with a product that I actually think is better than the iPhone I was using. As a tech investor, I will still use Apple devices to some degree on behalf of my investments. Some of the applications I work with launch on iOS first, so I will still use those devices. But I already feel my day-to-day devices shifting over to Android-based products. I am just having a better experience on them now.
What's the Android phone you are using?
Note: Lenovo has not yet released a smartphone in the U.S. It has been rumored to do so this year.