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Clone maker powers up management

Today's arrival of former Digital, TI, IBM and Dell execs is "just the beginning" of Power Computing's efforts to beef up.

Adding six new positions, Power Computing has expanded its senior management team with industry veterans.

The direct vendor of Macintosh OS-compatible systems today announced six additions to its senior team including former executives from Digital Equipment, IBM, Texas Instruments, and Dell.

James A. Wallace was named chief financial officer; Doyle Baker, chief information officer; Jim Hindmarch, vice president of manufacturing; Ronald Meredeith, director of business planning and forecasting; Janet Rubio, director of database management and marketing; and Savino "Sid" Ferrales will join Power Computing on March 3, as vice president of human resources.

"These are clearly top choices," said Power's marketing manager Mike Rosenfelt. "They are best of class in each of their respected fields, and we think a world-class management team is the ultimate competitive weapon."

The additions to the company's management team touch on all aspects of Power Computing--finance, information systems, manufacturing, operations and planning, marketing, database management, and human resources.

"My goal since starting Power Computing has been to attract the PC industry's best and brightest," said Power Computing founder and CEO Stephen Kahng in a statement. "We are in the process of assembling a world-class management team led by Power Computing's new president and COO Joel Kocher. Today's announcement is a major step in reaching that goal."

Kocher, who joined Power Computing in November, is the former president of worldwide sales, marketing, and service at Dell. Four of the individuals announced today are also former Dell employees. "[Hindmarch, Meredeith, and Rubio], are the people that are very much responsible for Dell's rise, and they understand the direct market business," said Rosenfelt.

A Dell spokeswoman said that the former Dell employees did not leave the company simultaneously.

Rosenfelt explained that these additions are just the beginning for the growing company. Several major announcements will be made over the next couple of months, he said.

Before joining the company, new CFO Wallace spent more than 16 years at Digital, where he held numerous positions including vice president of finance of the Computer Systems Division.

CIO Baker most recently was vice president of information resources and CIO at Mentor Graphics, developer of electronic design automation (EDA). He also spent nearly 16 years at Texas Instruments, where he served as Manager of Worldwide Marketing and Customer Service Systems.

Vice president of manufacturing Hindmarch will be responsible for all facets of domestic and international manufacturing.

Prior to joining Power Computing, Hindmarch was vice president of manufacturing at Plantronics. Before Plantronics, he was at Dell Computer for more than four years where he oversaw Dell's domestic and international manufacturing operations; he was previously at IBM for over nine years in a variety of positions.

Meredeith will oversee inventories, product transitions, and business planning; he previously served Dell for more than seven years in many roles, including director, Global Finance Program and director, worldwide operations/business planning.

As director of database management and marketing, Rubio will direct the company's maturing market segmentation development strategy and orchestrate a comprehensive database marketing program that will change Power Computing's overall business model.

Most recently, Rubio was responsible for the creation, design, and implementation of Dell's database marketing, direct marketing, and catalog programs.

Until February 28, Sid Ferrales will continue at his current position as Digital's vice president of worldwide human resources. Ferrales joined Digital in 1995. Previously, he was the vice president of human resources at Dell, and held a series of human resource management positions at Motorola. A price war broke out in the Macintosh market yesterday as Mac cloners Power Computing and Umax Computer slashed prices across their product lines, with Power cutting prices as much as 21 percent and Umax 19 percent.

In 1996, the Mac OS shipped in about 250,000 more systems than in 1995, according to IDC figures. At least some of this gain can be attributed to hard-charging Mac clone vendors such as Power Computing. "It's somewhat incremental, but [clone vendors] are rejuvenating the market to an extent," says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a market research firm in an earlier interview.