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The shake-up at Dell continued on Friday after the struggling computer maker tapped the head of Motorola’s $28bn mobile devices division to lead its sprawling consumer business.
Ron Garriques, president of Motorola’s $28bn handset group, will move from Illinois to Texas to lead Dell’s newly formed global consumer group, which will bring Dell’s consumer products, design and sales under one roof for the first time.
The move is part of a series of changes outlined by Michael Dell, Dell’s founder, after he returned as chief executive late last month.
“We are asking Ron to create a new global consumer organisation that will set new standards for…how we build and distribute products and services to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Mr Dell in a statement on Friday.
Dell declined to comment about whether the appointment of Motorola’s top handset executive was a signal that the computer group was preparing to enter the market for mobile devices.
A spokesman said only that Mr Garriques’s appointment reflected a desire to design products tailored to meet the needs of local customers around the world, particularly in emerging markets such as China.
The changes at Dell come as the computer maker is struggling to overcome an erosion in cost advantage and slumping sales growth that led it to cede the top spot in the global PC market last year.
Friday’s move marked the latest evidence of a shift in priorities towards the consumer market by Dell, which has traditionally relied on sales of computers to businesses to make headway in new markets.
Sales to consumers accounted for about 20 per cent of Dell’s $56bn in annual revenues last year, with business customers accounting for the remaining 80 per cent.
Although Dell would not comment on any plans to enter new markets, earlier attempts by Dell to branch out from its core computer business into consumer electronics have met with mixed results.
While the company has had some success selling its own line of flat-screen televisions, other efforts, such as its attempt to market a line of Dell-branded music players, have failed.
The appointment of Mr Garriques came one day after Dell poached the chief executive of Solectron, an electronics manufacturer.
Shares of Dell rose 0.7 per cent on Friday to $24.54.