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Dell Gears Up for Global Markets

The PC maker's new hires should help it tap emerging markets.

Signaling its intent to tie the company's turnaround to international consumers, PC maker


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tapped a



executive to lead its new consumer division.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said Friday that Ron Garriques will serve as president of the company's new global consumer group, reporting directly to founder and CEO Michael Dell.

The news comes a few days after reports that John Hamlin, Dell's head of online business and brand marketing,

had passed up the job, opting to leave the company after more than 10 years of service.

Dell's head of human resources has also reportedly announced plans to leave the company.

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But the door is swinging both ways at the PC maker in the weeks since Michael Dell

decided to resume his former job as CEO. On Thursday, Dell announced it had hired



CEO Mike Cannon to head up its global operations.

Garriques, who was most recently the president of Motorola's mobile-devices division, will oversee the entire Dell portfolio of consumer products, from notebooks and desktops to software and peripherals, the company said.

"As the number of people online doubles from one to two billion over the next several years, the majority of new consumers will be located in fast-growing and emerging markets," Dell said in a statement.

"We are asking Ron to create a new global consumer organization that will set new standards for innovative product design, leadership in providing the best customer experience and flexibility in how we build and distribute products and services to meet the evolving needs of our customers around the world," Dell said.

The move appears to address a shortcoming of Dell's that analysts have long pointed to: Though Dell's strength lies in corporate sales in the U.S., the hottest part of the PC market today involves consumers in fast-growing economies such as Russia and China.

But Dell's desire to tap the global consumer market will require significant changes. The company's direct-business model, which entails selling PCs directly over the Internet instead of through retail outlets, may not work as well in developing nations, where consumers like to touch and feel products and often pay in cash.

In the past, the company has treated its direct approach as sacrosanct, stubbornly dismissing a move to retail. As Dell brings in new blood like Garriques, it remains to be seen whether the company will also be bringing in new thinking.

Shares of Dell were up 0.5%, or 13 cents, at $24.51 in midday trading Friday.