March 4, 2004 10:53 AM PST

Rollins to be next Dell CEO

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Dell will get a new CEO for its 20th birthday.

Michael Dell, founder of the Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker, plans to pass the crown to his second-in-command, Kevin Rollins, in July.

Rollins, currently Dell's president and chief operating officer, has been handling the day-to-day work of the company for some time, while Michael Dell has spent more time focusing on his company's strategic initiatives.

As part of the decision, which was made Thursday by its board of directors, Rollins will become president and CEO on July 16 at the company's annual meeting of shareholders. Dell will remain as chairman, continuing the company's "two-in-a-box" chief executive office.

The PC maker said the changes, which coincide with the 20th anniversary of its founding in May, are consistent with the two executives' current roles. Dell has been focusing on initiatives such as new technology and customer service of late, while Rollins has been working on company strategy and operations.

"Michael and I, to a great extent, share the office," Rollins said in a recent interview with CNET "While we both have areas we work on--and we try to define those quite closely--we share a lot of responsibilities, and whoever is available does those things. We collaborate on our ideas of what we want the company to do. But I think that in terms of the day-to-day business, I run the company. He runs technology. We share the strategy stuff."

The timing of the announcement might have come as a surprise, since most people don't follow the schedule of Dell's board meetings. However, its occurrence was no surprise, analysts said. The two executives have been moving toward the change in roles for some time. More than anything else, it publicly acknowledges Rollins' contributions to the company, they said.

"I think that Dell may be ready to have Rollins recognized both internally and externally as the leader of the company," said Brooks Gray, an analyst at Technology Business Research. "Rollins has been running the show, and now he has the title he deservers."

The company had been faced with the question of how to reward Rollins as president, given that founder Dell, now 39, was so young, according to Roger Kay, an analyst at IDC. Rollins is 51. The answer it found was to give Rollins more control over time, he said.

The change could open up a new role for Dell, according to Kay. "In some sense, Michael (Dell) has more options available to him than anyone on Earth, right now. Over time, this represents an opportunity for Michael to gradually step aside" if he chooses to, he said.

Dell as a company may continue to aim for higher revenue goals or to enter new markets, but it's likely to largely keep on with the business model that Dell and Rollins have built for it.

"From a business continuity point of view, this doesn't mean much change," Kay said.

Paving the way
Rollins, the former Bain partner who signed on with Dell in 1996 and who became its president in 2001, has played a major role in designing the strategies that the company has used to attain its position as the top computer manufacturer in the world.

Under his watch, Dell has increased its market share and revenue. It has also sharpened its focus on the business market, where it sees a major opportunity to keep growing. Since 2001, the company has entered several new business areas, including storage systems, which it went into through a partnership with EMC. It has also tackled printers, network switches, digital projectors and launched a digital home initiative to sell products such as music players and flat-screen televisions.

At the same time, Dell has kept cultivating its core PC business. The company saw its PC and server unit shipments jump 25 percent to 25.8 million in 2003, according to IDC. Thanks to that rise, Dell's market share grew to 16.9 percent in 2003 from 15.1 percent in 2002. The growth also helped the company edge out rival Hewlett-Packard, which shipped 25 million units, or 16.4 percent of the market, in 2003, according to IDC.

The company has also reported a string of quarterly revenue and profit records recently. It ended fiscal 2004 with revenue of $41 billion, up from $35 billion in its fiscal 2003. The company's goal, set in 2002, has been to reach $60 billion in annual revenue.

Rollins is also expected to be nominated for Dell's board of directors at the annual meeting. If elected, he would replace former Dell executive Mort Topfer, who chose not to seek reelection to the board, the PC maker said in a statement.


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Kevin Rollins, CEO, dell
Mr. Kevin Rollins:

I am pursuing you through this channel because it is impossible to contact you directly.

One more time.

I will buy nothing further from Dell until Surinder Singh, a customer rep, lives up to his promise to redeem my American Express Rewards Program Dell Coupon, worth $50.
The number is 016036802. The expiration date is 2-17-07.

And here is what I want after all the delay, trouble and bad customer service you have given me.

I want a Microsoft Office Suite (Word-Excel-PowerPoint-Outlook) program sent to me gratis as a show of good faith. This is the industry standard, not the Corel WordPerfect which at this point is unusable. Significant because I am a writer and can save nothing with the Corel.

You can use my coupon for miscellaneous costs. I will pay to have the Microsoft Office Suite installed here in Lexington.

All I want is what I deserve and paid for.

And for God's sake, do something about your horrendous customer service. It is wrecking your company and a good product.

Philip Von Borries
P.O. Box 25022
Lexington, KY. 40524-5022
Posted by Philip Vaughn (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell Service
I completely understand the writer's frustration. I am currently expericing the same. Except mine is reagarding a 'received' return for $300 that can't be credited. But they'll credit me $100. Mr. Rollins you needto do something quick. I have requested to close my account with Dell.

-Frenita Oliver
Posted by Jmocha1 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Yep, You have it right Philip Vaughn. I have copied the body of
text from e-mails sent to me by this quite incredible
organisation. Who are they hiring, 8 year olds? This first e-mail
is in response to their their 3rd reply! Yep same useless info.
Read on for their reply.

Guys, guys!
First you have me in the wrong country then you give
me an number that is only active in the US or Canada.
Please get your act together. The internet gives us
choice but only if the retailer knows what they are
doing. You are DELL for heaven's sake not hokey cockey
sleazy electronics. Don't you know that the E.E.C
represents approx 1000 million people! Four times the
size of the US market.
Try again!

Dear john gardner:

Thank you for choosing Dell. You have reached the Small to
Business Online Order Resolution team.

Please contact our representatives at 1-800-456-3355 for
assistance in this regard. Our representatives will be glad to
assist you.

Thank you for choosing Dell.


SMB Online Sales
Dell, Inc.

Online Orders can be placed at:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

We Care for Customers: <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Incredible or what?

John Gardner
Posted by Sly Sid (1 comment )
Link Flag
customer service
Customer service stinks.I have been trying to get a laptop returned to me since Oct 27. I can't get any further than the technicians who answer the phones, transfer my call making me repeat everything I just told the last one and then promising to find out where my computer is and call me. It is now Nov 14 and still no computer and no one knows where it is. The last one promised to call back within 2 business days. Why does it take that long to find my computer!!!
Posted by baltotoo (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Dell Service
I placed an order. Never received it. It turns out it was delivered to the wrong address. They sent me a re-order. It was AFTER Christmas. I called to return it because it was too late at this point. I followed the return instructions. After receiving my statement with the balance for the items, I checked my USPS Delivery Confirmation and called Dell. They said they received the package (I've been told this more than once) and I'd see the credit on my next statement, which I was just told again on 3/16/07 case#159416655. As it turns out, statements later, I have a PAST DUE balance and they still haven't processed the return. Now they need a tracking number, which I don't have after being told it was received. Needless to say there's nothing they can do or "nobody else that you can talk to". At one point they offered me a $100 credit. That doesn't solve the problem. As the balance is $300! They expect me to pay for something that I don't have. They've already told me they received it.I no longer want my Dell Financial Account. If this matter isn't solved SOON, I will not spend money here, call an attorney, the Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau. I can't believe a Company with reputable products as Dell would be willing to let a poor Customer Care team ruin their reputation and lose customers who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars with them. There are so many discrepancies at Dell. Mr. Rollins, I hope you have a plan and can assist me with this matter. It is of most importance to me. As this balance has not only made me angry from all of the calls and being on hold, but also because you are affecting my credit report with the slow pay.

Disgruntled Customer,
Frenita Oliver
Posted by Jmocha1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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