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Dell drops top mobile executive

The former Motorola VP brought in to fix Dell's consumer strategy will leave the company in January amid yet another restructuring of the PC maker's business units.

Ron Garriques
Ron Garriques

The man brought in to turn around Dell's consumer business will be leaving the company at the end of January, Dell announced today.

Ron Garriques, a high-profile hire from Motorola in 2007, during Dell's last major shake-up, was charged with heading a newly created consumer division at the PC maker. He was transferred to head Dell's communications products group late last year. Dell released its first in a series of promised tablets, the Streak, under his watch, as well as a smartphone that was met with less-than-rabid enthusiasm.

Although he plans to continue to advise the company for the remainder of the year, Garriques' last day will be January 28. He's not going away empty-handed, though: Garriques is entitled to severance totaling $1.44 million and an incentive payment of $368,000, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His consultation contract with Dell over the course of 2011 will net him an additional $6.3 million.

It looks as if another shake-up of Dell's consumer business is under way. The recently broken-out communications unit will be integrated across the Consumer and Small/Medium Business, Enterprise, and Public Sector divisions. A company representative said the decision was motivated by the desire to incorporate mobile devices across all the company's business units, not just its consumer business.

Dell is in the midst of launching a new branding strategy for its consumer PCs--focusing on less expensive models such as the XPS, and doing away with the designer-friendly Studio and pricey Adamo laptops. We also hear from a source that Alex Gruzen, former senior vice president of consumer products--who was lured away from Hewlett-Packard in 2004 and pushed the Adamo line--was quietly let go in June.