Dell 2.0: Will It Be Enough?

Opinion: Dell looks to get back on track; is HP better off because of the shake-up?

Uh-oh. You know when companies start throwing around "2.0" projects that theyre in trouble. The last one I recall was Siebels Chapter 2 in the spring of 2005, when then-CEO Michael Lawrie was optimistic in promoting in eWeek the companys plan to revive its "core values." A week later, Lawrie was gone, ousted by the Siebel board.

Now we have Dell 2.0, which Dell CEO Kevin Rollins on Sept. 12 dubbed as the companys new effort to right itself from several missteps in the past year, reports eWEEK Senior Writer John G. Spooner, specifically product design, service and support, and declining products. The company also announced last week that it will delay its second-quarter financial report. Add to this the dreaded vote of confidence founder and Chairman Michael Dell gave Rollins last week, and you have to start wondering if the 2.0 spin is going to be enough to get Dell back on track.

Also from "As the Boardroom Turns" is Hewlett-Packards announcement on Sept. 12 that HP Chairman Patricia Dunn will step down as a result of the spy-vs.-spy scandal, with CEO Mark Hurd adding the title of chairman. This whole affair is a blow to the movement toward more responsible corporate governance to be sure, but many feel that HP will be better off because of the shake-up, reports Senior Editor Jeffrey Burt.

Hurd has been given credit for HPs remarkable turnaround since he took over in March 2005. But was it his management style and cost-cutting moves that did it, or was he merely executing the plan set in motion during the Carly Fiorina regime with the Compaq acquisition in 2001? We may find out more answers when Fiorinas "Tough Choices" memoir is published in a couple of weeks. But I agree with those who say that Hurds consolidation of power will enable him to finish the job of refocusing a company that had strayed far from its enterprise IT heritage. Still, the pressure will be on Hurd to show that hes up to both jobs in leading what may soon be the largest IT vendor on the planet, surpassing IBM.

Contact eWEEK Editor Scot Petersen at

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...