The circumstances of Snyder's departure make it seem that he was not ousted as a result of palace coup, said Kevin Hause, an analyst at International Data Corporation. "The company, operation-wise, is going great," Hause said.
Furthermore, Snyder will continue to serve on Gateway's board of directors. A search for a successor has been launched, said the company.
Although Hewlett Packard edged Gateway out of the top five vendors for unit shipments in the second quarter of 1997, the company is performing well, said Hause. Gateway' s unit sales increased 31 percent during the second quarter compared to the same quarter the year before. The company was sixth in market share for the quarter at 6.4 percent. The recent acquisition of server vendor Advanced Logic Research also indicated that Gateway was on track to increase its corporate computing presence. "HP just outgrew them. [Gateway is] still growing faster than the market," said Hause.
Both Snyder and Ted Waitt said the split was amicable. "Rick has been an outstanding asset of Gateway 2000. His leadership has taken us from a small direct manufacturer of desktop computers to a Fortune 500 worldwide leader of home and corporate computing." Snyder said the new position would give him a chance to return to Michigan, where the venture capital firm is based.
Snyder joined the company in 1991 from the accounting conglomerate Coopers & Lybrand. Prior to that, he served as a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
He is the second high-level executive to leave the hardware industry this month. Dick Snyder, senior vice president of worldwide sales, marketing, and service at Compaq (CPQ), abruptly resigned two weeks ago.