Rollins Out; Michael Dell Returns as CEO

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 01-31-2007

Dell, which has watched as rival Hewlett-Packard has drained away its once dominant market share, announced late on Jan. 31 that its namesake founder will return as the company's CEO.

Michael Dell will return as the company's CEO immediately, the company said in a statement released Jan. 31. Kevin Rollins, who took over as CEO in 2004, has resigned as the CEO and will abdicate his spot on the company's board of directors.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker did not give a reason why Dell decided to return to the company he founded in 1984, but the statement suggested that the board felt the company had lost its direction.

"The Board believes that Michael's vision and leadership are critical to building Dell's leadership in the technology industry for the long term," said Samuel A. Nunn, the director of Dell's board, in a statement.

In addition to announcing Rollins' resignation, the company announced that both its revenue and earnings per share for its fourth fiscal quarter will be below the expectations of Thomson Financial.

Thomson had called for earnings of 32 cents a share and revenue of $15.3 billion. When the company announced its third-quarter earnings Nov. 21, the company surprised Wall Street with revenue of $14.38 billion and earnings of 30 cents a share compared to the 24 cents that analysts had predicted.

After the news of Rollins' resignation Jan. 31, shares of Dell were halted in after-hours trading. Shares stood at $24.22, after the announcement was made.

In the past six months, Dell's signature PC business has struggled as HP has increased in market share both in the United States and abroad. On Jan. 17, IDC and Gartner found that HP had surpassed Dell in terms of worldwide shipments of PCs for the second straight quarter. Dell and HP were tied for the top PC vendor spot for 2006, according to the two reports.

Read the full story on eWeek: Rollins Out; Michael Dell Returns as CEO