Ted Waitt, chairman of Gateway, the direct PC vendor with a folksy image, is leaving the company he started. Waitt handed the CEO's role to Wayne Inouye last year.
Once head to toe with arch rival Dell, the decade hasn't been kind to Gateway. Last year the company shed around 4,000 staff - it employed over 20,000 just five years ago - and closed its stores-within-stores, preferring to work directly with preferred US retail chains. The company also abandoned its forays into consumer electronics. But after a queasy acquisition of budget PC vendor eMachines, which was effectively a reverse-takeover, Gateway has stemmed quarterly losses from over $300m to $5m.
Gateway received $150m last month from Microsoft to drop its lawsuit against the software giant. Antitrust trial disclosures revealed Gateway had paid more than rival OEMs to license Windows.
Waitt will devote more time to his Avalon Capital Group investment fund, which focuses on nanotechnology, and his foundation. Former Gateway president Richard Snyder will assume the role of chairman. ®