Dell's mobile chief Garriques quits amid business reshuffling

Dell's mobile business chief, Ron Garriques, is leaving the company and the mobile unit is being folded into Dell's larger operations, an indication of the struggles the company faces as it tries to crack into the smartphone and tablet markets.

Dell's mobile business chief, Ron GarriquesGarriques, who joined Dell in 2007 after years at Motorola (NYSE:MOT) during the firm's Razr heyday, tried to kickstart Dell's mobile operations, but so far the company has found middling success in the market. He is expected to leave Dell in January, and his unit will be broken up. Dell's mobile unit posted a $21 million loss in the second quarter; Dell will report third-quarter earnings after the market closes.

"He made a decision to look at other opportunities as we integrate the former communications solutions group into our core operating structure," a Dell spokesman, David Frink, told Reuters. Garriques will serve as a consultant at Dell through the end of next year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. He will get $1.4 million in severance, and will be paid more than $6 million as consultant.

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) launched Dell's 5-inch, Android-powered Streak tablet in August for $300 with a two-year contract. It retails for $599 unlocked. AT&T also is selling Dell's Android-powered Aero smartphone for $100 with a two-year contract.

More recently, T-Mobile USA launched the Venue Pro, Dell's first phone based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. However, the launch hit several snags, and Dell said earlier this month that it would replace phones that experienced WiFi connectivity issues and had mislabeled batteries. 

Dell, along with other computer makers such as Acer and Lenovo, have tried to make headway in the hyper-competitive smartphone market, with varying degrees of success.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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