The Big Question: While Rollins resigned, did he jump or was he pushed? My money’s on “gentle push”, with Dell returning to operations, like Ted Waitt to Gateway years ago, to his struggling company as the conquering founder-hero.
Will it work? With Dell down almost 15% over the last five years, and 17% over the last year (and 3% year-to-date), the thinking has to be that Dell’s model, while wonderfully Rollins-optimized, is optimized for a market, personal computers, that is no longer much fun, let alone a growth story.
So, will Dell follow PC companies Gateway (then) and Apple (now) into consumer electronics? That would be the smartest guess. I give Dell a better chance than Gateway of making the switch, but that’s not saying much. Bottom line: I like the change, but the PC business has bigger problems than can be solved by bringing back its favorite dorm-room prodigy.