RealTime IT News

Gateway CEO Steps Down

Gateway CEO Wayne Inouye has resigned to pursue other interests, leaving another executive to try and put the computer maker in a better position to compete with rivals.

The Irvine, Calif., company's board named chairman and director Rick Snyder as interim CEO.

Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder, interim CEO of Gateway
Source: Gateway

Snyder, a former Gateway president and COO, will take the position while the company searches for a permanent replacement to fill by late summer. Inouye will advise Snyder to ensure a smooth transition.

Snyder thanked Inouye, who became CEO following the Gateway's March 2004 purchase of eMachines, for helping to "stabilize and build the company."

Snyder will step down temporarily from his positions as chairman of Gateway's corporate governance and nominating committee and member of the audit committee but will remain board chairman.

Board member Janet Clarke will become chair of the corporate governance and nominating committee and board member George Krauss will join the audit committee.

Snyder knows Gateway well. He has been a director of Gateway since 1991 when he joined the company as executive vice president. He co-led Gateway's IPO with founder Ted Waitt in 1993.

Snyder became president and COO in January 1996, a position he held until leaving the company as an employee in August 1997.

While he was with Gateway, the company grew from a private, $600 million business to a public player in the PC industry with more than $6 billion in revenues.

Snyder, who just approved the operating plan for 2006, said he doesn't foresee any immediate major strategic changes at Gateway in terms of products offered or sales channels.

In 2005, Gateway posted its first profit since 2000 and recognized a $643 million improvement in operating income from 2004.

Snyder said "the company is essentially on the right course for long-term growth, and that our employees and senior management team have a sense of urgency about improving the company's financial results."

"However, we will take this opportunity to re-examine the strategic direction of Gateway to fine-tune our products, services and approach to our professional and consumer direct markets," Snyder said.