Gateway Names New CEO

Computer maker Gateway has ended more than half a year of hazy direction and undefined leadership by naming former Arrow executive J. Edward Coleman as its new chief executive officer, taking over from Rick Snyder who had been serving as the company’s interim CEO since February 2006 following the resignation of Wayne Inouye.

Coleman most recently worked for Arrow Electronics, where he served as senior video president and then president of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions. Before Arrow, Coleman was CEO of CompuCom from 1999 to 2004, and had previously occupied leadership positions at Computer Sciences Corporation and at IBM. All told, Coleman brings more than 30 years’ experience in the technology industry to Gateway’s top job.

“Joining Gateway at this critical juncture in its storied 21-year history is a tremendous opportunity,” said Coleman in a statement. “Gateway is one of the most recognizable brands in technology. I look forward to working with Gateway’s employees and stakeholders to meet the challenges ahead and position the company to better capitalize on its strengths.”

Gateway’s revenues and share price have drooped in recent years as the company has faced increasing competition from Dell, HP, and other computer makers, and the company has largely failed to make significant inroads into business and direct sales via the Internet. However, Gateways’ retail operations have been a surprising bright spot, accounting for almost two-thirds of the company’s revenue in its most recent fiscal quarter. Just last week, Gateway shunned an offer from eMachines founder Lap Shun Hui to purchase the company’s retail business outright or $450 million; Gateway acquired eMachines in 2004.

Coleman starts at Gateway on September 18; according to Reuters, his base salary will be $650,000 with possible bonuses up to 100 percent of his annual wages and options.

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