The Buzz: January 13, 2003

Hard-hit PC maker Gateway is starting the new year with a new executive vice president of operations.

Formichelli Rides Herd at Gateway

Hard-hit PC maker Gateway is starting the new year with a new executive vice president of operations.

Joe Formichelli, a 30-year industry veteran whose résumé includes stints as vice president of worldwide systems operations at IBM and vice president and general manager of Toshibas Computer Systems Group, took over the position last week. He will be responsible for Gateways performance on everything from PC sales to its nationwide chain of 272 Gateway Country Stores.

Formichelli has his work cut out for him. Gateway also last week said it will post an even greater fourth-quarter loss than previously expected, due in large part to disappointing holiday sales. The company had previously predicted revenues of $1.2 billion, but officials said they now expect revenues to come in at around $1.06 billion.

Computer Science Degrees Decrease

The number of doctoral degrees awarded by U.S. universities in science and engineering has declined to the level of the early 90s, according to a report issued last week by the National Science Foundation.

The number of Ph.D.s minted in the science and engineering fields has dropped 7 percent since it reached a high of 27,300 in 1998. The number of women obtaining doctorates has steadily increased, but women still accounted for only 18.8 percent of the doctorates in computer sciences in 2001, according to the report.

Intel Introduces Centrino Line

Chip giant Intel is naming its new family of mobile computing technology Centrino.

Included in the Centrino group will be the companys next-generation mobile processor, code-named Banias, as well as related chip sets and 802.11 wireless networking technology.

The technology is expected to be rolled out in the first half of the year, Intel officials said last week. Intel has been touting Banias as a chip that will outperform current mobile Pentium 4 processors while consuming less power than other chips, including the ultra-low-power Pentium III-M processors.