Dell founder says happy with CEO Rollins' role

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Dell founder says happy with CEO Rollins' role

Dell founder Michael Dell said he had no plans to replace chief executive Kevin Rollins despite a sharp decline in the company's financial performance as rivals attack its hold on the low-priced computer market.

Dell founder Michael Dell said he had no plans to replace chief executive Kevin Rollins despite a sharp decline in the company's financial performance as rivals attack its hold on the low-priced computer market.

The vendor has lowered results forecasts in three of the past four quarters as revenue growth slowed. The latest announcement, on 21 July, sent its shares down as much as 14 percent, their biggest one-day loss in nearly six years and raised questions over Rollins future with the company.

"If you look at the growth of the company during the last 10 years, he, along with myself and others, was largely responsible for that growth in success," said Dell, who started selling made-to-order computers from his University of Texas dormitory in 1984 after dismantling an Apple machine and rebuilding it.

"Any suggestion (of Rollins leaving) is to fail to understand how our company works in terms of the shared leadership responsibilities that Kevin and I have, but also to fail to understand Kevin's capabilities."

Dell was speaking at a media briefing during a visit to Australia.

Rollins was named chief executive two years ago, succeeding Michael Dell in the job. He was previously the company's chief operating officer.

US-based company, whose early success relied on selling inexpensive personal computers, is no longer counting on price alone to attract customers, Dell said.

"The bulk of our business, 85 to 90 percent, is to businesses and government institutions and those customers are really not buying on price," said Dell."

Rival computer firms, including world number two manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, Asia's Acer Computer International and Lenovo Group, have cut Dell's price advantage with cheaper-priced units of their own.

"We are going to stay competitive economically, yes. Our competitors may have done a little better, but would we trade our models for theirs -- no," Dell said.

A year ago, the company, which makes 240 million computers a year, acknowledged lowering prices too aggressively and started promoting higher-priced machines.

Dell, who declined to discuss the company's financial performance ahead of its announcement of its final results for its fiscal 2007 second quarter on 17 August, said the company was "making a lot of investments today that will not provide short-term growth."
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