- Gateway's new chief executive officer Ted Waitt -- the company's founder and chairman -- will refocus the company on its direct sales roots, he said in a conference call yesterday.
Waitt replaces Jeff Weitzen, whose retirement was announced Monday, after he served as CEO for just over a year.
"Why did this happen? Jeff decided to retire, and I love Gateway," Waitt says.
Waitt's takes the reins as the company is coming under increasing market pressure. It recently lowered financial forecasts for 2001 and on January 11 announced quarterly results that missed analyst expectations.
"We are going to focus on our direct roots; we are going to re-examine store openings," Waitt says, outlining a number of steps he will take to get the company back on track.
His top priorities are to grow the business and to "realign cost structures," he says. "We have got to be aggressive on pricing," he adds.
The changes in strategy are accompanied by changes in management. "We flattened the management organisation, my management style is different than Jeff (Weitzen)'s. I needed a management team that could move faster," says Waitt.
The new management team will include Joe Burke as senior vice president and chief financial officer, replacing John Todd, who is "leaving the company to pursue other interests," according to a statement released by the company just before the conference. Bart Brown will become senior vice president of Gateway's consumer division, replacing Cliff Holtz who is also "leaving the company to pursue other interests." Finally, Dave Russell becomes senior vice president, supply chain management.
Still in post are Sue Parks, senior vice president of Gateway's business division, Mike Hammond, senior vice president and head of global manufacturing operations, William Elliott, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, James Pollard, senior vice president and chief information officer, and John Renfro, senior vice president, human resources.
Other executive officer positions have been eliminated and those officers are leaving the company, according to the statement.