Jim Breyer, a partner at venture capitalist firm Accel Partners, was named to Dell's board of directors Monday.
Breyer, 47, will join the board immediately and will be up for official election at the company's annual meeting in July. He will fill one of two slots left vacant by the impending departures of A.G. Lafley and Michael Miles, two directors who announced earlier this year they would not seek re-election.
Considering who he is replacing, Breyer's appointment is useful in looking at where Dell is heading. Breyer's solid credentials as a Silicon Valley money man, where he's invested in 30 Web start-ups, will likely bring a fresh perspective to Dell's board. Lafley and Miles--longtime leaders of Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris, respectively--are representative of the traditional business world establishment, but Dell has signaled that it's willing to try new strategies in order to get the company back on track.
Breyer is on the board of three companies, Wal-Mart, Facebook, and Marvel Entertainment, which conveniently intersect with areas of Dell's business the company wants broaden and improve. As part of its makeover of its consumer business, Dell has embraced retail as a key driver of sales. It's also looking to compete with Apple's hipness factor, and plugging into popular culture and social media as a way of communicating with consumers could help the company in these goals.