SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The executive in charge of Dell Inc’s mobile group is leaving the company as it begins a major push into the smartphone and tablet markets.
Ron Garriques was a high-profile hire when he arrived at Dell in early 2007, charged with overhauling the company’s consumer business.
One year ago, Garriques, the former head of Motorola Inc’s mobile phone unit, took over Dell’s newly formed communications solutions group, which oversaw the company’s smartphone and tablet products.
Dell launched its first smartphone late last year and brought the device to the United States this summer on AT&T’s network. The company launched its first touchscreen tablet, the 5-inch Streak, last summer and plans to launch larger models by the end of the year.
Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu said the Streak was not well received by customers, and said it was not a surprise that Garriques was leaving.
“The communications group at Dell was arguably underperforming,” he said. “It still remains to be seen whether they’ll be a player in smartphones and tablets.”
Spokesman David Frink said Dell decided to integrate Garriques’ group into the broader company.
“He made a decision to look at other opportunities as we integrate the former communications solutions group into our core operating structure,” he said.
Garriques did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The group he headed was previously a part of Dell’s consumer and small and medium business unit.
Garriques will leave Dell, effective January 28, 2011, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He will provide consulting services to Dell from January 31, 2011 through December 31, 2011.
Garriques will receive a severance payment of $1.44 million and an incentive plan payment of $378,000.
Under the terms of his consultancy agreement, Garriques will receive two lump sum payments of $3.15 million each.
Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Robert MacMillan, Andre Grenon and Carol Bishopric