Dell Names Solectron CEO to Head Global Operations

Dell named Solectron Chief Executive Mike Cannon to head up the computer company's newly formed global operations division, where he will oversee all manufacturing, procurement and supply chain activities.

Cannon will report directly to Michael Dell, who recently resumed his role atop the company he founded after a stretch of problems that have included disappointing earnings, a federal accounting probe and several shareholder lawsuits.

Cannon, a longtime veteran of the technology industry, previously was president and CEO of Solectron , a company based in Milpitas, California, that assembles electronics for companies such as Cisco Systems, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, with much of the work done overseas to hold down costs.

Solectron said its chief financial officer, Paul Tufano, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.

Cannon's responsibilities will include Dell's nine manufacturing plants in five countries, including the U.S.. Dell is in the process of adding new plants in Poland, India and Brazil.

In a statement, Michael Dell said Cannon will help drive the company's direct sales model, where consumers and business buy directly from Dell, to a more global audience. "This will allow us to drive for even greater excellence in quality, cycle time and delivered cost," Dell said. "We will innovate and adapt our supply chain model to help drive differentiated product design, manufacturing and distribution models."

Cannon's hiring is the latest in a flurry of changes to the senior ranks of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell. Two senior Dell executives have decided to leave the struggling computer maker in recent days, according to internal e-mails.

John Hamlin, the senior vice president of Dell's global online business and marketing division, announced in an e-mail to several employees last week that he had decided to leave the computer maker rather than oversee the company's new consumer group. Senior Vice President Paul McKinnon, who oversaw Dell's human resources operations, plans to leave Dell in March.

In December, Dell hired Don Carty, a former American Airlines chief, as vice chairman and chief financial officer and added a former executive from Plano-based Electronic Data Systems to run its global services division.

Dell also has recently lured executives from General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Wells Fargo & Co.

Cannon's past roles have included CEO and director of hard-drive maker Maxtor, which is now a part of former rival Seagate Technology. He's also had stints at IBM's Storage Systems Division and Boeing, where he began his career with engineering and manufacturing positions.

Dell spokesman Dwayne Cox said Cannon's hiring was part of an initiative outlined in a memo to employees written by Michael Dell just days after returning as CEO.

In addition to pushing faster product development and expanding into new business to drive revenue growth, Dell wrote in the e-mail that the number of top managers who report to Dell would be streamlined from more than 20 to 12.

Cannon will be based in Round Rock and starts the job Feb. 26, Cox said. Solectron officials said the search for Cannon's replacement would be led by Paul Low, a longtime board member.